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Farewell, Space Shuttle. – ryuus Hort

Farewell, Space Shuttle.

(Deutscher Beitrag unten – German below. I’m writing this in English because it’s the chief language of the people to whom this „thank you“ is adressed, and in the unlikely event that some of them happen to read it, they should have a chance understand it.)

Today at 11:57 MEST, Space Shuttle Atlantis returned from her final journey.

I want to say thank you to all people who have stood behind the Space Shuttles: engineers and technicians, scientists, doctors and managers, training divers and control room crew. Thank you for making this possible for thirty years.

As much as I like the dear reliable Soyuz, I’m going to miss the Space Shuttle. I’m going to miss all the traditions and most of all the sight of a Shuttle taking off. When it’s sucessor launches for the first mission, I’ll be glued to the computer screen once more, hoping it will spare us tragedies like the ones of Challenger or Columbia.

I’d like to say a big fat thank you to the crew of STS-135, too. It’s been great to follow you along, it has lighted up some grey boring days to see your happy faces in videos and pictures from space, to listen to the remarkable things and the trivia you told in news conferences, watch you greet the Expedition 28 crew on the ISS after docking (how much the reunition of old friends looks alike, no matter where you go!), hear Sandy Magnus and Satoshi Furukawa cheer on the soccer teams of the Women’s World Cup and for one last time to see the SRBs light and that huge spaceship takes flight. And I will not forget images like this one by Doug Hurley.

I’m glad that you came back safe and sound. You rock! Thank you for sharing and letting us take part in your journey.


Heute um 11:57 MESZ ist das Space Shuttle Atlantis von seiner letzten Reise heimgekehrt.

Danke an all die Leute, die hinter den Space Shuttles gestanden haben: Ingenieur_innen und Techniker_innen, Wissenschaftler_innen, Ärzt_innen und Manager_innen, Trainings-Taucher_innen und Control Room-Leute. Danke, daß Ihr das möglich gemacht habt, dreißig Jahre lang.

So sehr ich die gute, verläßliche Sojus mag, ich werde das Space Shuttle vermissen. Ich werde all die Traditionen vermissen und vor allem den Anblick eines abhebenden Space Shuttle. Wenn der Nachfolger auf seine erste Mission startet, werde ich wieder vor dem Monitor kleben und hoffen, daß uns Tragödien wie die von Challenger und Columbia erspart bleiben.

Ich möchte auch der Crew von STS-135 ein dickes fettes Danke sagen. Es war großartig, Eure Mission zu verfolgen, es hat so manchen grauen, langweiligen Tag für mich aufgehellt, Eure glücklichen Gesichter auf Videos und Bildern aus dem Weltraum zu sehen, die bemerkenswerten Dinge und die Trivia zu hören, die Ihr in Pressekonferenzen erzählt, zu sehen, wie Ihr nach dem Docking die Expedition 28-Crew auf der Internationalen Raumstation begrüßt habt (wie sehr das Wiedersehen von alten Freunden doch ähnlich aussieht, egal wo $mensch hingeht), zu hören, wie Sandy Magnus und Satoshi Furukawa vor dem Finale die Teams der Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft der Frauen angefeuert haben, und ein letztes Mal die Solid Rocket Booster des Shuttles zünden und dieses riesige Raumschiff abheben zu sehen. Und ich werde auch nicht Bilder wie dieses von Doug Hurley vergessen.

Ich freue mich, daß Ihr heil zurück seid. Ihr rockt! Danke, daß Ihr uns an Eurer Reise teilnehmen lassen habt.