I've never been all that fascinated with the idea of space travel. It just grabs the imagination of some and not others and I am one of the others. I was only about 15 months old when Armstrong took that small step for man, so it was already history by the time I was aware of my surroundings. I do remember being called to watch a slashdown.. Apollo 13 maybe? I remember my dad was super excited about and I was mildly annoyed with him.
I also remember being summoned from my room to watch the first shuttle land in California. I was 14 by then and was daily mildly annoyed with my father, so this probably produced a serious huff. (And probably some eye-rolling because he pulled me away from the phone or a book.)
The Challenger was my first experience with adult disaster and the thoughts of it can still bring a sick feeling to my stomach and a lump in my throat.
But space never grabbed my imagination.
Today though with the last shuttle launch complete, I'm sad. Not because I never made it to the moon or the space station or orbited Earth (I'd rather go to to Ireland), but because it feels like one more area in which the U.S. is no longer a leader. Space was ours. The moon was ours. And now it's not. Now we are dependent on other nations to get supplies to the space station. Those four who blasted off a couple of hours ago will be dependent on Russia if the shuttle becomes inoperable.
And that makes me sad.