Thanks to your generous support, I've exceeded my original goal and also hit my second milestone of $350! That means everyone who has contributed $10 or more will also receive a small commemorative item from the launch! Way to go, guys!
I'll be flying to Florida on July 7th in order to witness and document the final launch of the shuttle program: STS-135 Atlantis. The program will be retired upon the completion of this final mission to the ISS, and I intend to spend my time interviewing many of the people who will be gathered at the NASA Causeway to see Atlantis on her way.
There are predicted to be around one million people gathered in the area. Among them I hope to find those who have watched the space program from its infancy, those who were present for its triumphs and tragedies, and those who are too young to grasp the importance of the US space program. I'm very interested in hearing people's opinions on the end of the program, what they expect NASA to do next, and what they feel the shuttle program represents.
A short example of the questions I intend to ask:
- What is your strongest memory of the shuttle program?
- Do you agree with the decision to retire the shuttle fleet? What alternative would you suggest?
- Do you feel that America has lost interest in the shuttle (is putting a man on Mars the only thing we care about now?)
- What do you think the shuttle's biggest accomplishment has been?
I will also be filming and photographing the launch itself from the NASA Causeway, 6 miles from the launchpad and the closest viewing area available to the public. However, with such a massive turnout expected to bid farewell, this is more of a secondary goal as far as this project is concerned. I am more interested in photographing and talking to the people themselves to see how they express their farewells and show appreciation for the program.
Regardless of whether this project is fully funded, I will still make the trip so that I can share the experience with as many people as possible. This is a very special date in American history and the close to a very worthwhile chapter in our space program that many Americans hold near and dear to their hearts.
- video interview people who have traveled to the launch
- film the launch itself and the reactions of those witnessing it
- produce a short film in tribute to the program using footage from the roadtrip, interviews, and launch footage
- produce a keepsake album of photos from the event
My expenses should be limited to airfare, hotel, and Causeway Ticket. I'm also hoping to raise a bit of money to create a nice keepsake album of the event.
- (23 days)