East Texans reflect on the end of an era---the space program - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texans reflect on the end of an era---the space program

By Jamey Boyum

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Friday morning was the final countdown for the space shuttle program. Atlantis successfully reached orbit signaling the end of an era---the last shuttle flight.

But, what do East Texans remember about the shuttle program?

STS-135 or Space Transportation System 135 had a perfect final flight to space. STS also means "sad to say," which reflects what many of you think of the end of the shuttle program with this, the 135th flight.

Lisa Andrus of Chapel Hill said, "I think it's a bad idea that its being stopped. I really do. I think there's so much more that could be done, and it needs to be brought to another level."

Priscilla Berry of Mabank said, "I think it's a wonderful program and I'm really sorry to see it end. But, I understand that everything must come to an end. I remember being in Florida and being able to see one go off, and it was so exciting. It just gives you goose bumps."

Matt Olson of Tyler said, "I was in kindergarten when the Challenger blew up. I was at home. I actually went to Challenger Middle School in Colorado, so I've seen most of it, at least from the 80s perspective. That's my main memories of it."

Angela Hammonds of Troup said, "I remember the last explosion and it shook our house and we were in Troup. It scared us to death. We didn't know what it was at the time."

Terry Dyck of Frankston said, "I think it's a great program, but it's time to move on, time for a new one."

Evan Evans of Tyler said, "Well, I think my greatest memory is the explosion of Challenger back in 1986. I think it's been a real boon to science and I'm sad to see that it's ending."

Penny Grover of Tyler said," I just don't believe the technology has been used to its fullest extent. I think they've stayed inside a box, and they need to step outside that box, and take their blinders off and look at it in a whole different perspective. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh look to see new possibilities."

If all goes as planned, Atlantis will touch down on July 20th, the 42nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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