End Of Shuttle Era Bittersweet For Astronaut’s Mom

Bittersweet is the word Barbara Anderson used to describe the landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis early Thursday morning.

Anderson is the mother of Astronaut Michael Anderson, who died with his fellow astronauts when the Columbia disintegrated during re-entry on February 1, 2003.

Thursday, as the shuttle program came to an end with Atlantis’ touchdown on Florida, Barbara Anderson talked about the landing, the end of the shuttle program and how her son’s dream lives on.

I hope and believe there was a lot of good in the shuttle program. I really do, for mankind and for the country. And I’m hoping that the new phase that they’ll be going into will be just as beneficial or even more so. And this is what I’m looking forward to.I realize that things, changes come and you have to move on and if Michael was here to know that it was a new change he’d be excited about it cause he’d want to be a part of that as he was the space, the shuttle programAnd I’m glad to know he made history with that program. He loved every minute of it even though he knew it was dangerous but it wasn’t a problem with him so we had to accept it and we did.I believe in positive things, I don’t look at anything on the downward, everything to me is going to be upward you know a positive thing. Every change that comes is for a reason and I’m hoping and believing that it is for better for betterment and not worse.We was at each launch and landings, except the last one, and all the things going on in his life you know was uplifting to us. To see him making the goals that he’d set meeting his previous goals that he’d set since he was like four or five years old. And so we just enjoyed it along with him, knowing too that things could go as they went but we didn’t let that take away the joy and peace that we got out of seeing him performing and being so involved and so happy about his accomplishments.

Two days before Columbia re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on her final flight, Barbara Anderson’s son Michael did an interview from orbit with KXLY in which he said:

First of all I’d like to tell them if you’re living in Spokane and the Cheney area, you’ve got some very good schools and some very good programs around there. And then just apply yourself, work hard be persistent and don’t give up, and you can achieve any dream you really want to achieve.