At the Kennedy Space Center, they began to take the space shuttle Discovery apart, and I don’t feel sad.
Why should I? Come on, these venerable machines are older than most airliners still in service. And taking them apart offers a unique opportunity to learn how reusable space vehicles actually fared after a large number of missions. Besides, some of the parts are truly reusable and may, in fact, end up being used in future hardware. Isn’t that a better legacy than simply stuffing a Shuttle in a museum somewhere in its last flight configuration?
Of course, it means that we lose the illusion that the Shuttle we’re looking at is ready to fly, if only one fueled it up. But then, without an external fuel tank, booster engines, and a launchpad, it’s not like they could get very far anyway.