Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Science News Roundup: Shuttle Program Signs Off

My husband was kind of sad yesterday.  When I asked why, he pointed out that he grew up just under two miles from Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.  He went to school with the kids of the shuttle astronauts, and one of his Sunday School teachers was an astronaut.

Yesterday the space shuttle landed for the final time.

At 5:57:54 a.m., Atlantis touched down on Runway 15 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, marking the end of the 30-year-old space shuttle program, 42 years and 1 day after Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon.

After 135 missions, some amazing science (the Hubble Space Telescope, Galileo, the International Space Station, a better view of our own planet’s topography, and research that led to some pretty significant advances in the biosciences and medicine), and more than its fair share of tragedies, the Shuttle program has finally retired.  Thank you to the astronauts, engineers, and all the rest of the folks who made it work.  Here at Caterpickles Central, we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next.

Atlantis’ Trip Home

Atlantis heads home in this image taken by the crew of the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA_Johnson Twitter feed

Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center.

Credit: NASA

Atlantis on the runway after sunrise Thursday morning.

Credit: NASA TV

On the ground, collecting some well-deserved love.

Credit: NASA TV

Want more pictures of Atlantis’ final mission?

Related Articles:


The Daily Show’s take on the final launch.  Seeing John Oliver’s excitement over lift-off kind of made me want to cry.

3 Responses to “Science News Roundup: Shuttle Program Signs Off”

  1. Medical Jobs

    Very nice website. I just finished mine and I was looking for some design ideas and you gave me a few. May I ask you whether you developed the website by youself?


    • Shala Howell

      Wish I could take the credit, but I can’t. It’s a WordPress template — the Twenty-Ten one. I simply replaced the standard header with my own logo.



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