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Cagle Post: Space – The American Frontier

On July 8, 2011 the space shuttle Atlantis flew into the heavens for the last time. Millions of Americans watched in awe, as man took flight into space. This iconic scene, one that has been quintessentially American since the earliest days of the space race, marks the end of an era.

President Obama saluted the shuttle and its crew:

“Behind Atlantis and her crew of brave astronauts stand thousands of dedicated workers who have poured their hearts and souls into America’s Space Shuttle program over the past three decades. To them and all of NASA’s incredible workforce, I want to express my sincere gratitude. You helped our country lead the space age, and you continue to inspire us each day.”

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Unfortunately, the President’s gratitude will not provide jobs to the 9,000 Floridians left unemployed. As CBS News has reported, this is a loss of over $600 million in wages that will no longer be earned or spent in Florida. It’s not just those directly employed by NASA that will be impacted — contractors, restaurants, t-shirt vendors all stand to suffer.

Read more of the Op-Ed here

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