I had a pleasant and unexpected surprise driving to the gym this morning and if it wasn’t for my preschooler in the back seat who pointed out “that HUGE plane!” I would have missed it. The space shuttle Discovery, while headed to Dulles Airport before retiring to the Smithsonian, wowed us all with an hour-long flyover of the Washington, DC suburbs. I have to say, I got a little choked up as it loomed so close and then later watching it land on television for the last time.
I remembered such iconic moments such as the Challenger disaster and it got me thinking about the bittersweet end to space travel. Where would we have been without it? Would we have our smart phones or in dash GPS systems? The space program is fueled by courage, curiosity and ambition and individuals who dream big. I hope this wasn’t the last time my kids got to see it land. As Captain Kirk says, “space is the final frontier” and as Americans we must remember–no guts, no glory.