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Space Shuttles Were Once A Big Deal

Space Shuttle Discovery Continues On Its Last Mission
(Photo by Bill Ingalls, NASA via Getty Images)

After 27 years of service, the Space Shuttle Discovery landed at Cape Canaveral today, ending the career of one of the most traveled spaceships. Remember when the shuttle launches were the biggest thing since sliced bread? We all were glued to the T.V. in anticipation of the lift off. 3…2…1..LIFTOFF!!! All the noise, smoke and fire, and the pictures of the command center, men punching buttons and flipping switches telling the shuttle crew that they were ‘Looking Good’. Then the smoke would clear, and the shuttle was just a dot in the sky, and deep down you wished you were on that rocket headed to space. The Discovery astronauts paid tribute to the ship, saying it may be some time before there is another vessel that is capable of venturing farther. NASA will decommission the Discovery and send it to the Smithsonian Institution. I’m proud to say my brother in law was a lead engineer at Cape Canaveral, and helped build the second building that houses the shuttles. He and my sister saw many lift offs, including the challenger that exploded shortly after take off, we all cried a little that day.

FYI, all the space shuttles were named after great ships of exploration,¬†Henry Hudson sailed a ship named the Discovery in the 1600’s, and James Cook in the 1700’s. So long ¬†Discovery, and good luck to all those who flew her.

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