One wonders why this program is retiring. The Space Shuttle Atlantis is preparing for its last launch, the last launch of an incredible space program with among many other things, has given us a chance to look at our beginnings through the Hubble Space Telescope.

It will be at least 5 or more years before the United States of America will have another vehicle prepared to do whatever needs to be done outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Send care packages to the Space Station, maintenance on the Hubble, maybe a quick trip to Mars?  All of those things now have a huge question mark. The country that has proudly worn the medals of honor with our space program is going to take a second seat. Godspeed to the crew of Atlantis as they prepare to once again represent us in the unknown.