Here’s Chris Bray and his father at the space shuttle launch, in 1981 and 30 years later, in 2011.
Excerpts from an interview with him done by the Flickr staff:
Early on the morning of April 12, 1981, after a couple of delays, the space shuttle Columbia was finally getting ready for lift-off to the first ever shuttle mission into space. One of the spectators, Flickr member arockalypse, was standing in the crowd, being terribly excited and anxious. He told us he grew up loving astronomy and following the space program, but until that day he had only seen Apollo launches on TV, so this was a huge thrill.
30 years later, when STS-135, the last space shuttle mission before retiring of the program, was planned, arockalypse and his family entered a lottery for tickets and managed to score passes to the Astronaut Hall of Fame viewing area.
When the launch finally took place, “it was bittersweet. We are big supporters and followers of the space program, and it is somewhat sad to see this great era come to an end. However, the Shuttle was a fantastic program and despite 2 horrible tragedies, it was an amazingly successful one. I’m looking forward to what comes next!”