A few thoughts on Endeavour's Parade

So, I'm sure you saw somewhere on the internet that the Space Shuttle Endeavour made its way from Edwards AFB to LAX today, by way of Sacramento, San Francisco, and various neighborhoods of Los Angeles, including Santa Monica, downtown LA, Burbank (where I work), Pasadena, Anaheim, and Long Beach.  I shot a little video with my iPhone as it passed over my office:

A friend of mine shared with me a quote that he heard to describe Endeavour's trip, likening it to "an open casket funeral service for the Space Age" (Damon Lindelof via Smokey Cloud).  It's really true, sadly, to see this kind of death knell for what was once the face of the American space program.

What's weirder to me is to know what the current state of NASA is, at least in the public eye, knowing their lack of serious funding, and yet to see such a huge part of the public get so excited to see something like a flyby of the Space Shuttle riding on the back of a 747! The Mars Curiosity rover's landing was live-streamed on the internet, and lots of people watched it. People are getting genuinely excited for these things, and yet... NASA is seemingly being starved to death. Granted, the entire country seems to be on some kind of emergency budgetary diet - public schools, the arts, social services... It was just a bit bittersweet, is all; seeing something that I've grown up with as a child of the 80's flying for the last time, not even under its own power.