The last Space Shuttle crew returns (7 pix)

Started Jul 23, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Russ Houston
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The last Space Shuttle crew returns (7 pix)
Jul 23, 2011

I attended the welcome home ceremony yesterday at Ellington Field next to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. The crew of STS-135 was welcomed back for the last time ever, so I joined the crowd to say hello.

All shots taken with the K5 and the DA*50-135.

The crowd waited in anticipation.

Lots of kids were there.

There were presentations by the senator and mayor.

Then the crew addressed the crowd. From left to right, there's Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus (speaking), and Mission Specialist Rex Walheim.

Afterwards, the crew greeted the crowd and signed autographs.

And then, it was all over .

It will be at least 5 years and probably more before the US has the capabilty to launch humans back into space. For now, we're buying rides from the Russians. A variety of companies (one of them the company I work for) are working to provide cargo capability up to the Space Station, and hopefully to provide a commercial ride for humans into space. This would free NASA to do what it does best, explore.

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