Early this morning, the final flight of our legendary shuttle program landed at the Kennedy Space Center. The touchdown ended a 13-day mission to the International Space Station and marks the end of 30 years of service to 356 astronauts from 17 countries. Atlantis’s Commander, Capt. Christopher Ferguson, said the shuttle program has “changed the way we view the world, and it’s changed the way we view our universe.”
Today’s landing also signals the end of a vaunted era for Mission Control at Johnson Space Center, a facility that is permanently embedded in our national identity for its indispensable role in the manned space program. As the nation looks to the uncertain future of the program, Houston is destined to build on its legacy of exploration and discovery.