Space History, Today: Final Shuttle Flight Begins

The Space Shuttle Atlantis launched today on its final mission, and the final flight of the Space Transportation System program, STS-135.

My involvement in the Shuttle program was tangential — four shuttle landings at Edwards AFB — but still the end of the program is pretty bitter. It would at least be bittersweet if we had another system waiting in the wings.

Here’s where it all began, a little over 30 years ago, in a previous space history blog post and a picture:

(First shuttle launch: STS-1, April 12, 1981. NASA image.)

Meanwhile, in other space history: 35 years ago today — July 8, 1976 — Indonesia got its first telecommunications satellite with the launch of Palapa-1.

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