|Photograph by John Raoux / AP Photo|
Many newspapers ran the AP photo of the space shuttle taking off for the last time from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, bound for Washington DC to be part of the Smithsonian Museum. The development of America's space shuttle program began in early 1970, the first sub-orbiter flight was in 1981, and the first full mission was initiated in 1983.
|Photograph from Wikipedia Common|
|Photo by GW Bill Miller aka Tulsa Gentleman in summer 1979|
The buzz was that it was going to take off at noon so a large group of us decided take our lunch over to the wire fence that separated the plant from the airport runway to see if this monstrosity would actually fly. Sure enough they started up the engines about 12:30 and got every thing ready. The turbines wound up with plenty of noise then it started to move, slowly at first then sped up quickly, rotated the nose up and lifted off the ground light as a feather. It didn't even use much runway as we in the peanut gallery cheered and clapped.
The American Eagle logo had been removed from the tail and replaced with NASA, but the silver fuselage still carried American's red, white, and blue stripes from nose to tail. It would be replaced by a single black stripe in 1983. The first shuttle flight was a sub-orbital flight in 1981, and the first fully operational flight was in 1983. The last mission was in 2011 and the 3 remaining shuttles are going to museums for us to enjoy, one to the Smithsonian, one to Los Angeles, and one will remain at the space center at Cape Canaveral.
This rambled on to be a longer post than I intended, especially for a Wordless Wednesday. I hope you found it interesting.
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