Today is scheduled to be the final launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle program, though it may be delayed due to weather.
All week, American astronauts have been speaking out about the end of an era with the shuttle program.
USA Today notes:
NASA is closing out its 30-year space shuttle program to take aim at asteroids and Mars, destinations favored by the White House. Private companies will take over the job of hauling cargo and crews to the International Space Station, freeing NASA up to focus on points beyond.
“We believe that on behalf of the American people, it is time for NASA to do the hard things to go beyond low-Earth orbit,” NASA’s deputy administrator, Lori Garver, told reporters gathering for the launch.
Here’s Mae Jemison talking about going into space: