(David Burnett/Contact Press Images)
I’ve always wanted to see a space shuttle launch in person. I planned cross-country trips for it a couple of times; one I didn’t manage to accomplish and for the other, the launch was so delayed that I spent the time scuba diving instead. So I’ve missed my chances, and I’m very sad that the program is almost over. But here are some great images by Ed Darack in Air & Space Magazine that are better than not seeing it at all.
There’s also a link there to a photo essay about the end of the program (which is where the photo above is from) and its devastating effect on our future space efforts. I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but as someone who grew up with the space program, I think it’s tragic that we can’t give it more of the national budget than, oh, about a thousand other programs that get funding. Where’s the pork for space? And I think it’s incredibly ironic that as sci-fi and dystopias rule the entertainment world at the moment, our actual capacity for sci-fi — or escape from dystopias — moves out of reach.
Did you ever see a shuttle launch in person? What was it like? Will you miss the program or do you think the money is better spent elsewhere?