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On Watching the Final Shuttle Launch

For the second time in fourteen years, my family broke beach house tradition.  We turned on the TV.  We have a strict family rule of absolutely no TV during vacation, so this was a huge deal.  I woke up and asked if we could watch the final shuttle launch and, seeing as it was the last launch ever, my parents figured that this was as good a reason as any.

The shuttle Atlantis taking off on her last mission. Image © NASA

However, we couldn’t find the shuttle launch on any channel (the beach house has an antenna TV, and only gets three channels), so we all surrounded around my laptop and my brother’s iPad to watch the live feed on NASA.gov.  So I guess that means we technically didn’t watch TV, right?

Growing up, my younger sister really wanted to be an astronaut.  Then last year when she found out that they’d be discontinuing the shuttle program I think she was crushed.  She’s going to be starting college in the fall and I think now that her life goal has been taken from her, she’s kind of unsure what to do with her life.  She was in Denver Friday morning with our cousins, so in a way I’m happy she wasn’t here to watch it with us.

It was definitely a bittersweet moment, but I’m glad I was able to share it with my family.  We were happy to see the shuttle go up safely and with such majesty, but incredibly sad knowing that it was the last time we’d ever see something like that.  I think it’s absolutely terrible that the United States space program is going to consist of unmanned missions from now on.

“On behalf of the greatest team in the world, good luck to you and your crew on the final flight of this true American icon.”

-Shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach

Honestly, it’s heartbreaking when you think of all the broken hopes and dreams this represents.  How many kids do you know who when asked say “I want to be an astronaut when I grow up!”?  I know I said it at least a few times.

Did you watch the Shuttle Atlantis launch?  What do you think about the future of Nasa and the canceling of the shuttle program?

xoxo, Karoline

Leave a comment


  1. Sue Zacharer

     /  July 11, 2011

    Another great post Karoline. This was an important subject and one more people should care about.

  1. A year ago toady… « Karoline With a "K"

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