Atlantis is safely on its way to orbit as the last flight in America's Space Shuttle program is underway. A bittersweet moment, to be sure, for those of us who have worked on this program for decades. I began work on the Shuttle program 31 years and 3 weeks ago, straight out of college, writing software tools that have been used for the past 3 decades to test the onboard flight software. Working in the space program was a boyhood dream come true. I've been with the flight software group doing various jobs for my entire career. Next month, thousands of us will be laid off. I'm not here to complain - we've known this was coming for years, we've had plenty of time to plan for it, and we are getting a generous severance. I'm actually excited about this opportunity to take the rest of my working life in a different direction. However, the coming gap in US manned space flight is troubling. It was probably time to retire the Shuttle (although I believe we could have safely gotten another couple of years out of the birds), but I would have liked to see us further along on followup programs. I wish my colleagues that are continuing on to work Orion, as well as those in the private sector like SpaceX, "Godspeed" as they work to return Americans to space. Any other HTFers out there on the Shuttle team?