Video of the Day: NASA Shuttle Launches Through The Decades

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Yesterday, Atlantis, NASA’s final shuttle for the foreseeable future, lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center. When Atlantis returns from its planned 12-day mission, it will mark the end of the US’s 30-year old space shuttle program and begin what is reported to be a four year wait before NASA is able to make spaceships again. Though NASA has spent years without making shuttles before, it still puts the program in a tenuous place. According to former astronaut Leroy Chiao, “After this mission, we will no longer have the ability to send American astronauts into space ourselves… And, arguably, we will no longer be the leaders in human spaceflight until we get that capability back.” To fuel your nostalgia for an age likely gone, NPR has compiled a nostalgia video about the glory days of shuttle launches past. Click through to watch and let us know how you feel about the momentous event in the comments.