Remembering the Space Shuttle Program

“Learning is Remembering” -- Socrates

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After thirty years of faithful service, the Space Shuttle Program has come to an end.

Space Launch Complex 39 - which launched Space Shuttles, Apollo Saturn V moon rockets, and the Ares I-X Rocket - will now be silent. The two launch pads at Complex 39 - Pad A and Pad B - will now be empty and quiet... except for the people and machinery dismantling the Shuttle-specific launch towers and rotating service structures.

“As we thought about the fate of the Space Shuttle Program, we realized that soon there will be no more spectacular launches.  No more breathtaking re-entries. No more US trips to the Space Station or Hubble. People born today will not know anything about the Shuttle Program except in history books.”

The Story of the Space Shuttle Commemorative Coin

Socrates told us that learning is remembering. “Our team began talking about how the Shuttle Program would be remembered, and that brought us to discussing the artifacts from the Space Race. People produced all sorts of memorabilia to remember the Race to the Moon so that we could tell the story to our friends and children. But was anything being created as memorabilia for the Space Shuttle Program?”

“Immediately we began working on designing and producing a collectable that honored the entire Space Shuttle Program. Not everyone was on-board. I recall some of the early discussions that discouraged developing this commemorative. “There will be hundreds of such collectables... why should we create one too?” In spite of the nay-saying, we decided to make the Shuttle Commemorative Coin.” And to all of our amazement, to this day there is only one.

“Early on we decided that we had to do something to make this coin very special, since it had to pay tribute to the longest-lasting manned space program in U.S. History. We decided that we would make the coin by mixing-in Shuttle Orbiter metal from the first Space Shuttle mission - COLUMBIA, mission STS-1.”

“We also decided that we needed to add significant details in the design of the coin. We also needed to decide which image of the Shuttle to use as the main image.” And you can read about those details (and view a short video tour of the design) at the website:

“Dedicated to promoting Awareness, Benefits and Accomplishments
of the United States
Manned Space Programs”

Space Artifact of the Week:

The Space Shuttle Program Commemorative Coins