Atlantis just landed at KSC, its permanent home. What can I say? The era is now over. The one honest spaceship is no more. I’m a pretty much in agreement with Miles O’Brien’s take. The space shuttle just never quite lived up to its potential. As O’Brien points out, the shuttle was designed with the one of its main ideas as building a space station, which it finally did some 17 years after its first launch.
I was looking at the list of canceled missions, and while most were simply got converted into unmanned launches, one did stick out to me: STS-144. The retrieval of the Hubble Space Telescope for display in the Smithsonian. Yes, it would have been a mawkish mission, but I still have loved to of had that happen.
So long shuttle.