It will be remembered as too expensive to support. That's the reason why we can't keep flying it forever. However, when it's gone, we will be begging to get it back because, for all of it's faults, the enormous cost of keeping it flying, it is probably the most capable machine we will have for a hundred years."
Mike Foreman: "I think people will look back in a hundred years and see the space shuttle program as a stepping stone between the early space program and how we evolved into a space station -- a living, working in space for long periods of time society.
And, eventually, we'll move off Earth, out of the Earth's orbit, and on to the moon ... [and] onto Mars, and I think that shuttle will stand out as sort of stepping stone that really got us involved heavily in space for a long period of time."
Garrett Reisman: "It is definitely bittersweet because it's such an amazing vehicle. When we got a chance to walk alongside of it when it rolled to the pad, you cannot help but think that it's a mystical creature, you have this sense of reverence when you look at it."
John Phillips: "The legacy of the space shuttle is, of course, the two tragedies, the loss of 14 very good people. And a lot of people will remember mostly that. But what they should remember, in addition to that, is that we will have had a vehicle that would fly for 30 years.
It is still the only reusable spacecraft. No one else has one, and it can do things no other spacecraft can do, and no other spacecraft in the foreseeable future can do -- designed by guys in the 1970s with slide rules and pocket protectors."