The end of an era
I felt somewhat nostalgic today as I watched NASA's space program launch the Atlantis shuttle into space for its final mission. It's hard to believe that I am old enough to use the phrase, "it's been 30 years since..." Today, I am living back in Florida and one cool thing about living here is being able to watch the shuttles fly into space right from your own backyard.
I've seen the shuttles launch while at work, 400 ft. up in the sky aboard the Sea World Skytower, what a view that was. I also saw one of them come home piggy back on a 747. I've been awaken by many sonic booms rattling my house. One of the first ones I experience abruptly woke me up in panic thinking it was an earthquake. We had recently moved from California and when your house rattles and the ground rumbles it's most likely an earthquake.
One of the big things in Central Florida is the Kennedy Space Center, the location of the shuttle launch pad. There you can see space history unfold before your own eyes. Decades of NASA's space program are there for you to see. Today marks the end of an era for the space program, the shuttle program will be no more after today's launch and return.
It's incredible that the shuttle program began in 1981, I was 3 years old. I was in elementary school when I witness with my own eyes the loss of the Challenger and its crew in 1986. In 1998 I saw another space tragedy as Columbia and it's crew didn't make it back. And today the last of the five shuttles goes into space for the very last time. It's almost surreal as you watch events unfold before your own eyes that will be in history books in years to come.