A flight to obscurity

Hands down, this is the coolest picture of the day:


Like an aging employee no longer of much use, the government gave the space shuttle Discovery a gold watch and party today, a fly around the nation’s capital before wheeling it into a retirement home.

For those of us who grew up with the space race, it’s bittersweet — again — to watch the country’s manned space program pass into further obscurity.

It’s not cool to be a space fan anymore. The program costs too much, it has limited immediate payback, and there are other countries with more money to spend on national pride.

Still, one fairly wonders whether the kids being born today will ever bother looking up at the sky with any kind of wonder about what it’s like up there and out there? We’re out of the human space vehicle business, kids don’t learn to fly much anymore, and the sky doesn’t offer any mystery.