The End of a Legacy

August 28, 2011
The end of the Space Shuttle legacy that lasted thirty years ended on July 21, 2011 when the shuttle landed at Kennedy Space Center. The U.S. Space Shuttle Program’s first launch was on April 12, 1981. Throughout the thirty years NASA has launched five shuttles into space. The names of those shuttles are Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour. All of the shuttles were built by Rockwell International in California. The five shuttles flew a combined 135 missions. Every single shuttle was launched from Kennedy Space Center. However, not every shuttle landed there. Edwards Air force Base in California was where some shuttles landed when they returned from space.

The Space Shuttle Program created a plethora of jobs. The jobs were not just in Florida but all over the United States. These jobs include people that work at hotels, restaurants and various other places. The end of the program has greatly impacted the Space Coast area. Thousands of people have already been laid off as a result of the program ending. This doesn’t just include people that worked for NASA, KSC, and Boeing, but people that worked in hotels and restaurants. Brevard Workplace believes that nearly 23,000 jobs will be lost in Brevard County alone. KSC worker Debbie Harris says that she personally knows over fifty people that worked at the Space center that were laid off.

The effects of the Shuttle Program ending were seen almost immediately in Brevard County. Thomas Jones, a CSR employee and Brevard resident, said that many people have been moving out of the area as a result of losing their jobs. The unemployment rate has increased greatly in the Space Coast area. Now in order to get to Space the U.S. will have to travel with the Russians. According to Spacetravel.com we will have to pay 51 million per astronaut to ride on the Russian Capsule. Overall, the effects of the Space Shuttle Program ending had drastic effects on not only the U.S. but throughout the world.

Sources:
Spacetravel.com
Cnbc.com
Nrp.org
Nasa.gov
Space Shuttle booklet by Florida Today





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