It's very bittersweet for fans of space flight. The Shuttle has had it's share of ups and downs throughout the years, the great successes, and the tragic losses of the Challenger and Colombia with all crewmembers perishing.
However, I think we should also consider the benefits that the Shuttle program has provided for us here on the ground. The program created literally thousands of jobs throughout the country. You see, the Shuttles needed a constant supply of replacement parts, which kept all those individuals busy. Job losses are already being felt because of the retirement of the Shuttle fleet.
Not only did the Shuttle program spur the creation of thousands of jobs, it also led to some very important advances in the technology scene, as well as some critical medical research.
We can thank the cancellation of the program and the loss of all those jobs, and the technical and medical benefits to "elected officials" (I use both of those terms very loosely...). You see, there are some individuals in Washington D.C. who think that the Shuttle is outdated, and needed to be retired, and replaced by a flight system that doesn't even exist yet. Seems like a major lapse in judgement to me, but then again, I think that we've all come to expect that from Washington over the last few years.
|Atlantis lifts off on the last Shuttle flight|
I'm sure that our former Cold War enemies are relishing in this small victory and the American dollars that they'll be pocketing. But I'm also hopeful that NASA will introduce out next space vehicle sooner rather than later. I'd rather not spend tax dollars supporting the space program of a hugely corrupt country like Russia. Remember folks, just because it's no longer called the Soviet Union doesn't mean that their ideology, methods and tactics aren't alive and well, because they are. They're just disguised in a very thin veil of dysfunctional Democracy.
Just a little food for thought this Friday.