Last launch went without a hitch. A few of my co-workers got sent down to see the last launch. Wish I had gotten to see one in my 30 years. Sad Day for me, I think its a sad day for the USA, and I have serious concerns about the possible private companies, picking up the space business. There are many reasons why the shuttle and manned flight is so expensive, its a subject in itself, so will not start it here. Cheaper means doing less, and doing less or lowering standards and specs, will be a disaster, all of us who build these things knows it. Branson was on a CNN special tonight telling how he and his kids have fares already paid for the first mission of the space ride on that Virgin airline program. The space shuttle to those who do not understand this kind of thing was a piece of junk because of so many scrubbed launches. They do not get it, that there is so many redundant safety features and sensors, the orbiter is programed to not go, it every system is not perfect. Do it cheaper means cutting corners, less sensors, less instrumentation, lesser welding standards, lesser non-distructive testing standards, will cause failures. One prime example is in south america a dozen or more people were killed on a launch pad explosion that was so basic and remedial to our practices, it could have never happened. Another example was Ted Turner launching a $1B satalitte on a chinese rockets because it cost less, and the rocket failed. The learning curve will not be user friendly, and the reason the US space program is so expensive is the level of risks that are eliminated, and a history of 50 years of knowing liquid rocket engines like Rocketdyne knows. Not a single man has been lost since Alan Shepard due to a Rocketdyne engine. Manned flight Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, The Shuttle, The Space Station, all powered by Rocketdyne engines, thrusters, and other energy systems. Unmanned include ovre 500 Atlas systems, Delta, and many other unmanned systems.