So the final space shuttle flight came to an end early this morning. I really hope that we find some sort of program that replaces the space shuttle so that we can continue our country's tradition of manned space flight (right now we don't really have a specific program in place, from what I understand. Our astronauts are going to be hitching rides with the Russians for awhile- which just seems wrong- and then hopefully we can transition into some new private sector space program). I know that there are some people out there who are sort of critical of space travel and space exploration these days (mostly because of the expense), but I would really like to see it continue. We exist in only the tiniest corner of the universe, and the idea that we might give up on wanting to explore and understand more of it just sort of depresses me (especially as we continue to fund wars for which no one even seems to be able to articulate a satisfactory resolution).
Anyway, my thanks to all the people who worked on the shuttle program over the decades. I know that the shuttle program didn't ultimately reach every goal that it set out to achieve (e.g., it turned out to be a little more expensive than planned), but for almost all of my life it's been America's spaceship. It's done great things, and I'm proud of it.