The shuttle program ends, and with it, an era of American tech excellence

Shuttle launch on TV

The last American space shuttle, STS-135, lifted off this morning, bringing to a close a remarkable era in U.S. technological dominance.

I stayed home and watched the launch on TV, just as I watched the very first shuttle launch on TV in 1981. Both events were deeply tied into the computer era.

In 1981, I watched the launch of Columbia on the only television in the house, which normally was only used as a monitor for my Apple II+. As a no-television house, I had to get special permission to use the monitor as a TV, tuning in to a grainy broadcast signal coming over the rabbit ears.

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The shuttle program ends, and with it, an era of American tech excellence