My excitement level to see Atlantis, up close and personal, ranked up there with my anticipation to see the Pyramids in Egypt for the first time. It took my breath away as I first saw her nose and then body from the second floor of the Orbiter Processing Facility.
Sunday, July 8, 2012, marks the first anniversary of the last launch of the Space Shuttle Program. Atlantis lifted off LC-39A at 11:29:03 after a very brief delay and began STS-135, the last mission in the three-decade-long program.
Now there was another period of silence, long minutes as the shuttle's main engines continued to burn to take it into orbit. The bright curvature of the Earth against the darkness of space was visible.
As the space shuttle Atlantis returns to earth this week and closes the curtains on two decades of NASA's shuttle program, privatized space flight may provide a similar opportunity for innovation - and investors.