The Space Shuttle Atlantis made a perfect touchdown at Kennedy Space Center this morning. American access to space is, at least for a few years, limited to seats on a Russian Soyuz at @50M a pop, with transport available only to the International Space Station.
Congratulations to the astronauts, ground crew, console-staffers, wrench-turners, janitors, and everyone else involved in the program. It's been a helluva ride marked with sadness and triumph. The shuttle opened up space to the scientific expert (and occasional politically-connected guest) after a history of its being limited to highly specialized astronaut-pilots.
Now to chart a new course.