Saturday, September 22, 2012

One Last Time

Last Wednesday the shuttle Endeavor flew over the Johnson Space Center one last time. It was another bitter sweet moment for the folks at JSC; home of manned space flight. So symbolic and so moving as it passed over Mission Control spending about 20 minutes circling the campus so everyone could come out for one final view.

I had never gotten to see a flyover before so for me it was very cool. Although as I stood there and listened to the folks around me, it gave me pause, realizing that I could never fully appreciate what those around me felt. To me it was a cool experience, but really, I'd never worked on the Shuttle program. And even still, it was only in 2005 when I first came to work at JSC. People around me had been working on the shuttle program since 1981, before I was even born. They remembered Challenger like I remembered Columbia. They remembered the sense of euphoria on that first Shuttle liftoff that I can only hope that I feel in my lifetime. With the current path that NASA is on, I can't say for sure that I will.

After the flyover the shuttle landed at Ellington Field just down the road from our house. After work we headed over with some friends to check her out up close. It was packed and hot. (September in Houston, go figure). The shuttle stayed for the night before flying out at sunrise to her final resting place in Los Angles. We were thankful for the stopover, but all secretly wishing it wouldn't take off again.

Trivia Question: Do you know who or what Endeavor is named after?

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