I remember it well. It was a Sunday and my family had just been to church. I had been really excited because I was going to see the launch live. However my family wasn't going to make it home. I remember being rather upset. Our minister invited me to watch it at his house. So I remember being sat at the kitchen table of the minister in a room dominated be an aga (I think it was black), watching a small, portable colour television as Columbia lifted of the launch pad.
Of course for that flight all the tanks were painted white. It was before they took the paint off to save the weight. I watched as it flew up in to the sky and I felt like I was flying up there too. My heart and soul took flight with the astronauts as they took their place in history.
I for one have never lost that feeling. Every time I have watched a launch, or seen pictures of a mission, or seen pictures of earth taken from the shuttle, my heart has lifted high above me, to join the men and women who have been in space.
Now, thirty years later, (and I have a hard time believing that it's really been that long!), Atlantis has made its last journey. When it lands tomorrow it will be the end of an era. I think that it is a testament of that fact that space flight has become too familiar that Barack O'Bama has decided to save money by cutting funding, so the Shuttle has to go. It's a shame that I will never see it launch.
So what does that have to do with Stargate? Well as a fan the irony hasn't been lost on me. In SGA Atlantis ended up on earth and that's the way the series ended. The last shuttle, also named Atlantis is now on its way back from its final mission where it will land on Wednesday. After that it will remain on earth as that's where its journey will end.
It's a shame on both counts. :D