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The Last Flight of the Shuttle Discovery

...is Nov. 1, and it makes me a bit wistful. By the time I was born, humans had already walked on the moon for the last time. But I became a space buff thanks to the Skylab missions -- why did they seem so romantic to me? And when the Shuttle Columbia launched in 1981, it seemed possible to me that having a career in space would be just another option when I grew up.

That didn't turn out to be the case, of course, and as an adult I've come to believe that manned space flight is probably an unnecessary government activity. But I'd love, still, to float weightless someday. I know it's never going to happen. And the passing of the shuttles from the scene, without replacement craft ready to go, makes me feel a little older, a little more disconnected from my youth.

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