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(Today’s post is by guest blogger Suwannee Refugee.  Suwannee Refugee was the first Florida blog I linked, and when he put out the call for swapping blog posts with other Florida bloggers, I jumped on it.  I still owe him one.)

 

For many shuttle launches, when I was in fifth grade, we would go out onto our soccer field attached to our campus to watch a blaze of glory and a trail of smoke.  It was in fifth grade that the Challenger disaster happened. But, for all of those shuttle launches that I watched from that patchy field, I’ve never seen the shuttle launch for the East Coast of Florida.
I don’t know why I haven’t gone.  Maybe it’s too far.  Or maybe I don’t like crowds (i.e. Disney).
But if I don’t get over there soon, I won’t get to see it at all.  There are only a few more shuttle launches planned, and then, as Bugs Bunny says, “That’s all folks.”
There is a piece about this future event on many of the mainstream sites today.  If you didn’t get a chance to scan it, do!  The space shuttle and the space program are as much a part of Florida as the alligator and Seminole Indian.  There’s even a space rally on April 11th.
I really don’t have any strong opinions one way or another about keeping or disbanding the space program.  I can see keeping it, but I can also envision privatizing it.  The part of this whole fiasco is how devastated the Space Coast is going to be after it is gone.  Reports are saying that 6,000 people will lose their jobs.  In a place where NASA is the main employer, a blow like this is crippling, to put it mildly.
So, if you have some free time, go see a launch in person.  I am.  Because extinction will soon happen to NASA, too.
What thoughts do you have about Florida losing NASA?  How do you think the Space Coast is going to be affected?