matt mcclendon

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user experience leader, innovator and entrepreneur.


Space Shuttle Memories
space shuttle Discovery in Altus OK

space shuttle Discovery in Altus OK

When I was growing up I had the opportunity to see the space shuttle multiple times. Altus, Oklahoma, home of Altus Air Force Base, was a frequent stop for the shuttle when it was being ferried across the country. Not only does the base offer an extremely long runway, it provides a fuel stop between Edwards AFB in California and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

I was in fourth grade when the shuttle Challenger made a stop in Altus. This first visit to Altus, along with subsequent visits were always met with excitement and awe, both from me and the community. These visits also shaped my college aspirations, leading me down a path of physics and engineering. Although my eventual career deviated from these solar ambitions, the shuttle program continued to hold a special place in my heart.

I’m saddened by the retirement of the shuttle fleet; it is the personification of NASA in my mind. This sadness is only topped by the lack of direction our country’s space program/strategy is currently experiencing…

From 1985 to 1992 I saw three of the five orbiters, including: Challenger, Discovery and Columbia.

Jul 23rd, 2011

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