Thursday, July 21, 2011

End of the Great Space Era

Today, an important era has ended. On April 12, 1981, STS-1 launched in space, beginning an era that would eventually include more than 542 million miles of space travel and more than 2,000 experiments. After three decades and 135 flights, the NASA space shuttle program completed its final journey with Atlantis’ pre-dawn landing at Cape Canaveral.

Space Shuttle Atlantis lifting off on its STS-135 mission July 8, 2011.
(Photo courtesy of
As we move forward, we must continue to remember our heritage of leadership in human spaceflight. The shuttle program brought out nation many proud moments, but also a few tragic ones. We must continue to honor the dedicated individuals who blazed a significant path into the final frontier and carry on our leadership in space. 

On behalf of AFA, we thank the many skilled professionals who propelled America to reach beyond the ends of the Earth and contributed to the shuttle’s many achievements and discoveries.

The flag shown here was flown on the June 8-22, 2007, mission of the space shuttle Atlantis. Pictured left to right: Doug Birkey, Commander Lee Archambault, AFA President Mike Dunn, Ken Goss.

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