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I took this picture last night, and I don’t like it very much.

Let’s set aside discussions of artistic merit and admit that it’s a pretty dreary view of the last functioning space shuttle perched on its launch pad. Especially when NASA promised a glorious sunset.

I’m a 20-something science journalist now covering my fifth space shuttle mission, and I’ve never known another spaceship. And in so many ways the mundane story behind the creation of this photograph parallels my feelings about the 30-year-long, $209-billion space program.

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Category: Science