On July 21, 2011, the day the Shuttle Atlantis touched down for the last time, the
Marshall Islands Postal Service issued seven new stamps commemorating the end of
the Space Shuttle era.
Since its beginning in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has
been responsible for many remarkable accomplishments. For example, on May 5, 1961,
NASA sent Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut, into space. Then, just eight
years later, on July 16, 1969, NASA launched Apollo 11, carrying astronauts Armstrong,
Aldrin and Collins on a journey to the Moon. In 1973, NASA was responsible for
launching Skylab, a space-borne laboratory which circled the earth for nearly seven
years. However, NASA's next project - the famed Space Shuttle - is perhaps its
greatest accomplishment so far.
For 30 years beginning with the launch of Columbia on
April 12, 1981, the Space Shuttle was the workhorse of America's space program,
bringing America as close as it has ever come to routine space travel.