On Monday, STS-133 the second (or third) to last shuttle mission is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This will be the last flight of Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103). It’s odd to me that people don’t know that the end of the Shuttle era is so close at hand. This will be a game changer for our nation and most people don’t even know that it’s happening.
One person that does know it’s happening is my two year old son. His halloween costume is a blue astronaut flight suit which has 6 patches on it. 1)A NASA patch, 2)The US Flag, 3) a Space Shuttle Program Patch 4)The Space Tweep Society patch (with MECO on it), 5)A STS-131 patch, and 6)A STS-132 patch. He’s also a good listener and has been learning the component parts of the Shuttle stack. He knows that the tank is orange, the boosters are white and the orbiter (pronounced orb-butter) is the thing that looks like the airplane.
He knows the ISS and has touched it. He knows what the moon looks like in the sky, and up close. He also tells me he wants to visit the moon. It amazes me that he will sit still and watch the moon, both in the sky and on TV, but rarely sits still otherwise. I’ll admit that I’ve guided him towards this interest, but still, it’s awesome that he likes it.
On Sunday, my son will wear his blue flight suit and be an astronaut. On Monday, 7 astronauts will don their orange pressure suits and head to orbit. My thoughts and his as well as those of millions of people around the world will be with them.
For more information on the STS-133 mission, check NASA’s site at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html