It is difficult for me to think on anything else besides the end of a space era. Shuttle Atlantis launched today and ended en era. I will admit that I was not even two months in age when the shuttle launch back in 1981. Even though I do not remember the first shuttle launch, I have drawn a great during my lifetime of not only the shuttle, but the space race back in the 60’s until now. My hobby is researching space history and I have met most of the surviving Apollo astronauts along with a handful of shuttle astronauts.
My favorite memory is when I was invited to the Apollo 40th anniversary celebration in Dayton, Ohio. Standing around having small talk with Fred Haise and Jim Lovell, among others, was definitely a highlight. I was offered the chance to meet Neil Armstrong, so I took it. He is such a humble man and I am blessed to have been able to be introduced to him, as few have the opportunity.
Although understandable as to why the shuttle had to be retired, it is hard to take considering the future is so unknown. I was not able to get tickets to see the last launch, but definitely plan to visit the space coast in the future again.