The Space Shuttle Atlantis launch is scheduled for 11:26 AM EST on Friday, July 8, 2011. This is the final launch for Atlantis and the final space shuttle launch EVER! The amazing space shuttle program has captivated me since the first launch of Columbia in 1981 when I was 10 years old. Most people think I am crazy to make these two trips from Nebraska to try and realize my dream of seeing a launch in person but it is my dream! I am so excited that my children will be with me and old enough to appreciate and remember the experience.
I have a good feeling about this launch. The pilot is Astronaut Doug Hurley. Hurley is my maiden name so that's a good sign right? One of the four astronauts is a woman, Astronaut Sandy Magnus. When we toured Kennedy Space Center my eight year old daughter noticed and commented on the astronaut pictures around that there weren't very many women astronauts compared to men. I explained that women are joining the ranks more and more as times have changed and I am excited that she will be able to witness a woman go into space. Also my son has a space shuttle launch pad toy that he's had for years. The shuttle on the toy is Atlantis. We searched high and low to get an Endeavour one when that was the orbiter we thought we'd see launch and yet could never find one. Maybe Atlantis is what we were always destined to see?
Wish me luck on a successful launch trip! In the meantime my kids will be completing my Space Shuttle Experience Unit available for FREE in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store:
Check it out for your own classroom or child at home. Only 29 days until the launch! Makes a great summer project to keep that learning alive and fresh!