(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.