This morning Oliver, Patrick, Gavin and I gathered around the computer display and watched the final shuttle launch. Oliver was a little apprehensive about the noise and smoke as the shuttle took off. Thankfully, everything went smoothly, and Oliver got more and more excited as the Atlantis blasted “FAS!! FAS!!” into the atmosphere.
We explained to Oliver the shuttle was going into space. He looked confused, until we explained the moon and stars, like on the light-up constellation Turtle, is space. Then Gavin said it was actually near-earth-orbit to visit the international space station. How do you explain near-earth-orbit to a two-year-old?!
Our best description was: “higher up than an airplane, but closer than the moon.” That seemed to work. Thankfully, he didn’t have any questions about the space station.
When the streaming video cut back to NASA’s command center in Houston, Oliver was quite disappointed and demanded “moar! moar!”
Sorry Oliver, there won’t be any more shuttle launches, ever.