Contact Us

End of an Era For America’s Space Program

There was stark symbolism in the night time landing of the space shuttle Atlantis early today in Florida.  As Atlantis came down in the darkness, ending 30 years of shuttle missions, the entire American space program also went into the dark.  No one can say for sure when the sun will rise on it again.

Win McNamee, Getty Images

Atlantis made a perfect landing as dawn broke today, gliding down on to the tarmac at the Kennedy Space Center. It was the 135th mission for the shuttle fleet, which has covered an astonishing 542 million miles and circled the Earth 21,150 times.

As Commander Christopher Ferguson eased Atlantis on to the runway, he radioed:

“Mission complete, Houston.”

“‘Job well done, America” replied Mission Control.

It will be three to five years at best before Americans are again launched into space from U.S. soil, with private companies gearing up to seize the Earth-to-orbit-and-back baton from Nasa.

There’s more information and dramatic photos at:

The long-term future for American space exploration is just as hazy, a huge concern for many at Nasa and all those losing their jobs because of the end of the shuttle program.

Asteroids and Mars are the tentative destinations of choice, yet Nasa has yet to settle on a rocket design to get astronauts there.


Best of KSFA

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KSFA VIP quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KSFA VIP contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.