Because so much of modern medical science trickles into civilian use through the work done by NASA and the military, I thought it was fitting to spend today’s post saying goodbye to the Space Shuttle program. Today marked the final launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. It will be the last launch of the entire shuttle fleet. I remember being in the fifth grade in 1980 when construction began on the first shuttle at the beginning of the program. It was such an amazing innovation; a reusable launch and reentry vehicle where all prior space vehicles were non-reusable rockets and splash down capsules. So much excellent scientific advancement has been yielded by this program. So many advancements in medical understanding too. It is sad to see the fleet retired. One wonders what the next step into space will be for the USA?