Friday, March 11, 2011

Grand Lady of Space Set to Retire

Discovery Landing March 9, 2011
After 27 years and 39 missions into the fringes of the final frontier--the space shuttle Discovery rolled to a final stop on the Florida runway about midday on Wednesday.

An era ends.

The ABC news story summarizes it pretty well--but being the space head that I am, it still makes me sad that as a country we have so terribly lost our way and mortgaged our future that we cannot continue to lead the discovery of space which has already returned so many benefits to us.

And so, by way of celebrating an era and a good ship, here forom the news item is a summary of some of Discovery's accomplishments:

"Discovery flew both return-to-flight missions after its sister ships, Challenger and Columbia, were lost. It launched the Hubble Space Telescope. It carried John Glenn, one of America's first space pioneers, on his sentimental return to space in 1998. It assembled the first components of the International Space Station. It has flown more times than any other spaceship in history."

And as I stand  under the cloudless night sky and gaze at the points of light that are the stars and the constellations, I continue to wonder if God put them there to taunt us with their distance and difficulty, or to challenge us to praise Him for his magnificance.
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