Space, The Final Frontier
Posted by Tommy Garrett on Jul 24, 2011 - 1:54:25 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Thursday morning, as politicians were bickering in the nation’s Capitol, our one beacon of hope for science, space travel and patriotism was making its way back to earth. The shuttle Atlantis landed just before dawn at the Orbiter Processing Facility for the final time before a crowd of people who felt poignant. Decades before many Americans were even born, President John F. Kennedy was offering a challenge to Americans that we would go into space, walk on the moon, and we did all of those things.
Now most of our nation’s leaders are no longer interested in space travel, young kids have fewer dreams for the future and the federal government remains in hopeless deadlock over every piece of legislation. Perhaps we don’t realize the importance of these enormous missions that astronauts have been making for decades. Has the American dream bloomed too early and faded far too fast? Have we no more dreams and accomplishments yet to conquer? Hopefully not. Though, space travel has been a major boost to our national psyches for half a century now, and it is sad to see the last shuttle make its final mission this week.
NASA has assured the public that they will continue their goal to make space exploration a priority in the U.S. and will continue to press for funding to complete such missions. Excitement and emotions were evident on the runway at the Kennedy Space Center in the early morning hours on Thursday to greet Atlantis and its crew upon their return from a successful 13-day cargo run to the International Space Station and to celebrate the conclusion of the shuttle program after 135 flights. Hopefully, Americans will see more space travel in their future.
When politicians are bickering over the federal budget, they often are quick to cut space exploration. However, America needs these missions to continue in the future. Space exploration offers hope. It reminds all Americans of the limitless possibilities of American ingenuity and show our youth that they live in a country that can accomplish anything. At least that is how it made me feel as a kid.
As many of us grew up watching various versions of the TV show “Star Trek,” we all remember those opening words, “space, the final frontier.” The nation has conquered the American desert in the Southwest, we built Hoover Dam, America defeated the Nazis and the Empire of Japan in WWII, we’ve found vaccines and cures for many diseases. However, it is very important for our nation not to abandon our space adventures for many reasons; the most important being that it offers Americans hope.
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