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A Visit That Was Out Of This World

posted Oct 17, 2012, 1:09 AM by Golden Knight
 By Joseph Nofal 

 Friday, September 21, Saint Francis High School and people all over California were in for a treat. The space shuttle, the Endeavor, took its last flight after many years of service to its nation. The Endeavor is a recently retired Space Orbiter from NASA. It was the fifth and last NASA shuttle to be built. It was originally built as a replacement for Challenger, which was destroyed 73 seconds after its launch on January 28, 1986. The Endeavor flew on missions for 19 years before finally retiring in May 2011. Saint Francis had the great honor to be under it as it soared for the last time. The suspense in the morning, the excitement throughout the school, and the never-ending wait for lunch to come cultivated into an abundance of exhilaration. When lunch finally arrived everyone was looking up. All the students were saying is “Do you see it yet?” or “When is it coming?” All of a sudden the crowds heads turned.  Following their movement, I spotted a dot followed by smoke in the distance, so small one could barely distinguish it.  Disappointed, I walked over to my next class and waited outside. I waited there with some friends for fifteen more minutes before I finally realized lunch was running rather late. Certainly, that small dot couldn’t have been the great shuttle everybody had been talking about.  Then all of a sudden, I saw people running as fast as they could toward the field. I eventually followed and found that the quad was surprisingly empty. Then I heard a chant proclaiming, “USA, USA, USA.” Following the chant, I found nearly the whole student body on the North side of the campus staring at the most breathtaking site. The shuttle had arrived. I could not have imagined it any better. It was larger than I could have dreamed, louder than I was expecting, and more magnificent than I could have hoped. It circled around a few times as my peers took pictures, videos or just ran under it in the hope to look at it for as long as possible. This was no ordinary day at St. Francis High School to say the least. It was a moment that I think all of us will remember for a long time.  I hope it had as big of an impact on other people as it had on us.