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NASA Welcomes Final Return Of Atlantis In The Hour Of Darkness

Space shuttle era ends | Time to think big on space exploration?

By ETHAN Markoff
July 21, 2011

WORLD NEWS/TECHNOLOGY – After 126 million miles traveled, 30 years to revolve in the universe, space shuttle Atlantis has finally returned back on Earth, putting full stop on NASA’s 30 year orbiter program.

It is the most memorable and sentimental moment in the Kennedy Space Center when the shuttle Atlantis touched down for the last time, lowering the most eventful eras in America’s spaceflight program. The end of half century of US dominance in space, Nasa’s shuttles were significant in building space station and to maintain the Hubble telescope.

"The space shuttle changed the way we view the world and it changed the way we view the Universe," said Commander Chris Ferguson on landing.

The shuttles pre-dawn landing seemed a shy affair compare to imperial spectacle of its final launch 13 days ago, which pulled one million visitors to witness the final voyage. The final landing of Atlantis is no less than mourning for Nasa employees as they turned out in the darkness to welcome the most successful spaceflight in the history of space program in the world.

The US government has ordered the retirement of Nasa’s iconic shuttle because of high cost of maintenance. The US space agency is now putting effort to invite private parties to maintain and develop the transport services in the space. There are already number of private organizations have started their space venture. Although according to the report, flight is still to be ready and will take at least 3 to 4 years to be in space.

In the meantime, Nasa will take the help of Russian to ferry its people to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

Nasa has contemplating to invest money from the saved shuttle operations to new spaceship that can take humans to the Moon, asteroids and Mars. The spaceship Orion is already being designed and development is in progress.

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