Well here we are, our penultimate astronomy advent calendar image for 2011 already. It seems to have passed in a blur!
This year saw the end of something that I’ve been aware of for pretty much my entire life. A regular memory throughout my childhood was the thrill of seeing one of NASA’s space shuttles launch, and many around the world share the same emotional attachment to what is still one of mankind’s most fantastic achievements.
2011 saw all three functional orbiters (Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis) retired as the 30 year shuttle program was brought to a close. The shuttles have spearheaded our reach out into space, having been a major tool used in the construction of the ISS to carrying incredible satellites and space telescopes into orbit.
But the awesome sight of a shuttle launch will never be seen live again.
As an extra treat for those shuttle enthusiasts among you, here’s a link to a special feature length NASA Shuttle Documentary, narrated by none other than Captain Kirk himself, Bill Shatner
Maybe watch it while waiting to finish your day at work. No one else is doing anything, so it’s fine!
Christmas Eve tomorrow, and our last advent calendar image for this holiday season (and it’s a cracker!)