Atlantis – A Final Tribute

I hadn’t planned to do a second post today, particularly one with another long video. But this one, from the STS-135: A Final Tribute post over at the Lights in the Dark blog, literally brought tears to my eyes…

“… Four-and-a-half million pounds of hardware and humans, 135 launches, piercing the sky with fire and math. Each one bringing back more knowledge than when it left. The shuttles and their crews were truly marvels of engineering. No, they weren’t perfect. But they did what they did very well, and they enabled us to now be in the position to know how to make the next step. And you can’t put a price on that.”

I want ice water.

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20 thoughts on “Atlantis – A Final Tribute

    • In all honesty, I had real doubts about the whole “flying body” concept and was half afraid it would fall out of the sky like the “brick with wings” that it seemed like to me. Obviously, I was wrong, and very happily so! πŸ˜€

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  1. This is a great video, I loved it.

    I saw the shuttle in 1977 at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas. It was on the back of a 747.

    I worked at Johnson Space Center in the 1980s and went to the memorial service President Reagan spoke at for the Challenger.

    The drought in Texas recently exposed a large piece of debris from Columbia: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14387073

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  2. I heard about the debris being found on the news. I wonder what other “revelations” nature has in store for us? I’ve always wanted to visit the Johnson Space Center. I did manage to spend a couple of hours walking through the Kennedy Space Center museum back in the 80s.

    That must have been Enterprise you saw at Biggs Army Airfield in 1977. Part of me wishes they’d reserved that name for one that actually flew, but can you imagine how much worse the psychological impact would have been had that been the name of one of the two that went down?

    But still, one can dream …

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  3. I had a bit of a tear in my eye when they were showing boards just before the takeoff. Were it not for money it may well have been modernised and rejigged. Thanks for the video. We’ll miss the shuttles and perhaps it’s also a good time to remember the ones who didn’t return from their shuttle missions. They should never be forgotten. πŸ™‚

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      • I’m sure we can’t possibly imagine what advances have been made because of this programme. It won’t bring back those who are lost, but it will make their deaths mean something. Isn’t it interesting that America put money into something that will further mankind and countries like Russia and China keep their research a state secret?

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        • Oh my friend, you’ve brought some very deep issues to the fore here. I agree that the benefits brought about through the space program are beyond calculation, but some would say that corporate interests have reaped the lions share of those benefits at the expense of the taxpayers. From that standpoint, the real difference between America and Russia and China is that in America there are a lot more private entities who are allowed to gain from the knowledge learned – if they can afford to get in the game.

          As far as the benefits helping to justify the resultant loss of life is concerned, one could argue that we’d be much further along it our advancement into space had it not been for government restrictions in the private development of space technologies. After all, just look at how rapidly we advanced in general aviation with the help of all those wacky experimenters over the years. Of course that mostly unregulated experimentation cost far more lives than the heavily regulated space program did… πŸ˜•

          For me, my fascination with space exploration is still rooted firmly in the dreams of adventures, in wondrous new places, of the small boy I was when it all began! πŸ˜€

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    • Wow, thanks for the link! I hadn’t seen that. I started to tear up up a little myself when Stephen asked Captain Ferguson how what it was like to be the last person to land a shuttle. Thanks again! πŸ˜€

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  4. There is much more to learn about Outer Space
    but this fine Shuttle-Craft helped mankind to understand
    a little bit more about our Universe, the adventure is
    just beginning my friend…

    Androgoth

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  5. It seemed not so long ago we began this journey and WOW…we haven’t even begun. I was tearing up at 43 seconds into the video, I’m such a softie. I will miss these shuttle missions. I feel like a kid when I watch them take off.
    Star Trek…I quote those guys all the time…space junkie!!! Thanks for sharing kid,
    smiles,
    Rx

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