According to wikipedia the first fully functional space shuttle was rolled out March 25, 1979, it was the Columbia. I was born in January of 1979 and its fair to say that for as long as I thought I had any say in the matter I was trying to direct my life toward being an astronaut. I took massive amounts of science in school, joined the astronomy club, looked into joining the air force. I save all the money I could to go to space academy in Huntsville and get my college credit from the space science program. Anyway, I did relinquish that dream in 1997. I found I’d never be tall enough. Looking back, its better that I gave it up then as I would have been grounded by health problems.
I am really worried about the pause (please let this not be the end) in the manned space program. I can’t think of anything else that has inspired more interest in science then the space program. What totem, what hero, will we point kids to for inspiration now?