I bid farewell to the space shuttle program. This doesn't mean there won't be any space travel, however. The International Space Station is still in orbit and in operation.
It seems that NASA's next big mission is to send mankind to Mars by the 2030s, since a bill was approved in September to go in that direction. See the article on Space.com here.
At once considered a thing of science fiction, a trip to Mars is possible and welcomed. Let's hope the idea of Martians stays with science fiction.
For a video of space shuttle Atlantis' astronauts getting a wake-up call from band R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, click here (the video is on the NASAtelevision channel on YouTube, but apparently, the audio doesn't work if shared to another website). The astronauts are taking a break today, but should return July 21 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to "Shuttle Astronauts Take Much-Needed Break from Busy Mission" by Denise Chow, Space.com staff writer.
Here's a video of the last NASA space shuttle launch: