I remember being in high school and seeing the Enterprise lift from a Boeing 747 and NASA’s ‘dry’ run of a glide test. The large bulky delta winged shuttle lifted up as the Boeing dropped away. In the background a small T-38 fighter chase plane chased the Space Shuttle through its gliding maneuvers. The Shuttle flew flawlessly and landed to an amazed world. This Shuttle, the Enterprise was the beginning of a changing form of space exploration.
Having collected Alan Shepard, John Glenn and Neill Armstrong’s autographs, I have always been amazed by America’s space heroes. The Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs which began in the ’60’s and ended with the Apollo program in the ’70’s were golden. With the birth of the Shuttle in the ’70’s and ’80’s, I was once again amazed at the technology.
The technology behind the Shuttle now 30 years old still amazes young and old alike. While the Shuttle still looks the same, the technology behind the Shuttle has changed. With the newer glass cockpit and some amazing technologies that have come to pass, the Shuttle is the most advanced flying vehicle made by man.
Now with over 100 missions the Shuttle,
of which there are six Shuttles -(Atlantis, Challenger, Columbia, Discovery, Endeavor and Enterprise) have all flown (The Enterprise was a test shuttle used during testing and did not fly into orbit) into space. It is now 2010 and the Space Shuttles are moving into retirement. Having lost two of the shuttles and the American heroes on-board, NASA continued the program that would produce scientific experiments that helped to bring technologies to help all of mankind (Inventions from shuttle missions). The publicized yet little known missions are so well documented that many people overlook the resources that NASA produces on their website. Take some time out and visit NASA’s website and look at the archives that stand as a part of history. A history of not only the ending of the Space Shuttle’s era but a history that spans from NASA’s birth to future projects. It is one of the best websites on the internet.
Space Shuttle images and wake up calls. Link
NASA’s Space Shuttle webpage.