As I watched the final spaceshuttle mission launch into space today, I had mixed feelings about seeing this part of the space program come to an end. For me, I am ready to stop just circling the earth and want to see NASA start to focus on going to the moon and other planets or an asteroids.
I agree with the direction the last two U.S. Presidents want to take the space program. The best thing to do is turn the near earth orbit missions over to private companies and let NASA focus on the bigger picture. The problem is that a lot of the technology needed to do these missions doesn't exist yet. Will we who are alive now, live to see another man make a deep space mission in our lifetime or will that be for future generations? Who knows, but I'm hoping it can happen in my lifetime. I want it to happen in my lifetime. Imagine all that humanity could accomplish if we lived in a better world and could spend money not on wars, but on projects such as space exploration. Astronauts have always been my hero's and I hope they don't become an icon of the past as Knights, Vikings, Indians and Cowboys have become.