I remembered reading about the Space Shuttle program in my school's library back when I was in St Gabriel's in the late 70s. The Space Shuttle is a reusable launch system and orbital spacecraft operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for human spaceflight missions. The system combines rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons. It really fascinated me because the Space Shuttle is the first orbital spacecraft designed for reuse. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981 leading to operational flights beginning in 1982, all launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
So when Javon took an interest in the Space Shuttle, I was going to be there to help encourage him on his discovery and lead him to Space, the final frontier haha Javon has since moved on to other things but we still keep both boys' childhood stuff in their boxes as we're quite sure it'll bring back cherished memories when the boys get older and remember the toys they used to play with.
Back to the US Space Shuttle program, which is slated to end this year with the retirement of Atlantis in July. Atlantis' final mission is slated for July 8 launch and after that, the Space Shuttle is retired after 135 flights over 30 years. The combined mileage for all five orbiters (Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour) - 826.7 million km - is enough to reach Jupiter.
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UPDATE June 9, 2011: Pictures of Space Shuttle Endeavour docked at the International Space Station (ISS).