The weather is still the wild card for the final launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, scheduled to go off a little more than an hour from now. There's been a lot of press nostalgia of late about how today marks the "end of an era" but not nearly enough about the United States becoming a second-rate space power with the Shuttle program's demise. Here's some thoughts in that space (heh) from a CNet article today:
"Does it bother me? I think the transition could have taken place a little more gradually," (STS-135 commander Craig) Ferguson said of the Obama space policy. "I would have liked to have seen a little more openness and not have it occur so suddenly. Does that mean it's the wrong thing to do? I'm really not sure. We had alluded to, in the past, we're really taking a risk. We are. And with big risks come big rewards. This could turn out to be the savior of human spaceflight in America. I'm really not sure, only time will tell.There's more here, including excerpts from a highly critical open letter to President Obama written by Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, Apollo 13 commander James Lovell, and Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan.