FRIDAY SURPRISE: Out to launch.
Today marks the final scheduled launch of our Space Shuttle. While one can argue about the merits of the program, it was a great example of what our country could do if we simply decided to do it. Back in '79 I could not have conceived that space launches would be so common that people would scarcely pay attention to them, yet that's exactly what happened.
As it turned out most of the Shuttle's jobs could be just as easily (and usually less expensively) be done using expendable rockets. Still, despite my avowed position as a critic of government involvement in most areas of life I'm glad that my tax dollars went to fund the Shuttle.
Sometimes, folks, you've got to do something outlandish just to prove you're alive. NASA has given us a collective way to be outlandish, the national equivalent of your local municipality's fireworks display.
Here is a great retrospective of the Shuttle program, via the LA Times. No matter how much a fan of space you may be I suspect you'll find many pictures that you've not seen before.
-=[ Grant ]=-