View Full Version : Last Towback of a Flight Worthy Space Shuttle – Atlantis Post Touchdown Photo Album

2011-Jul-29, 03:20 AM
Space Shuttle Atlantis closed out NASA’s Space Shuttle Era with a safe touchdown on July 21, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at the conclusion of the STS-135 mission, the 135th and final shuttle mission. I was extremely fortunate to be one of the lucky few journalists permitted by NASA to follow along [...]

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2011-Jul-29, 06:29 AM
To misquote Jack Lousma, "Farewell Atlantis, and we thank you."
Thank you NASA and all the people who worked on these beautiful machines everywhere, for giving me, giving us all, some defining moments of space travel.
Moments like the Mir/Shuttle docking, a sharing across nations once enemies, like the repeated expeditions to an ailing telescope, giving new sight to one of our farthest eyes, like the simple joy of watching astronauts have fun in microgravity chasing M&M's and globules of water.
Watching those white and black wings claw into the sky, riding on the thunder and the flame, that was space travel to me, with the throaty orange plumes of the SRB, the almost transparency the main-engines, all straining to be loosed from the bonds of Earth.
This is the end of an era and the start of a new one.
May we be worthy of your successes, may your triumphs carry us higher into a new dawn.
Thank you.

2011-Jul-29, 04:58 PM
I love the way you write, raven's cry, but I can't say I love how you always say these things better than I ever could.