I am somewhat saddened by the end of the space shuttle program.
I am old enough to remember the first manned orbit and, of course, the first moon landing. I well remember President Kennedy's challenge to put man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. He didn't live to see it, of course, but it happened.
Of course there were missteps and tragedies. There was the whole incident with Apollo 13 (which ended up being a great movie).
The day we brought Older Son home from the hospital after he was born in January 1986 was the day the Space Shuttle "Challenger" exploded and all its passengers were killed. In the videotape of us walking down the halls of the hospital, you can hear the news reports.
I always found it all very exciting and thought it would be way cool to go into space, even with my extra cautious personality. One of my favorite cartoons as a child was "The Jetsons" and I remember wondering if that's what life would be like when I grew to be an adult.
I also loved the old TV show "Lost in Space" even though I've never been much of a Sci-Fi fan. I wondered if it was conceivable that a family could travel into space together as the Robinsons did and wondered if we would ever have a robot as part of the family.
I had a short stint as a Star Trek fan, watching the reruns late at night when I was in law school, a great escape from studying. Never really got into the movies though.
So what happens now to the U.S. Space Program? In a tribute to the Space Shuttle I heard today, the speaker said no matter what happens now, "America will never stop exploring."