Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Space Shuttle: 25 Years, Too Long?

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the successful launch of STS-1, the first shuttle, Columbia.
CNN has a nice commemorative media package here.

Aboard that first launch were just two crew members: Commander John Young and rookie pilot Robert Crippen. Neither had any idea what to expect when they fired up the engines and rocketed the wide-body space-bus straight up like a Roman Candle, but it all turned out OK.
At the time I thought the shuttle was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
This was no mere rocket. It was smooth like one, but shaped like a plane. A true spaceship for the very first time. It was one step closer to the Millennium Falcon for me, but a nightmare of possible failures to every engineer who worked on it and everyone who flew aboard it.

In hindsight, perhaps they should have stuck with the rockets...

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