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      Thronateeska holds Shuttle Saturday as space shuttle era ends

      Don't try telling Katie Blaise otherwise, she's going to be an astronaut.

      It has so many pretty stars in there and it has really cool planets, says Blaise.

      While even at 9 years old you can never be too young to answer the "what do you want to be when you grow up?" question, Katie TMs plan received a setback this week.

      That's because when Space Shuttle Atlantis took off on Friday, it was the last space shuttle launch by NASA.

      It makes me really sad that they did that because they didn't get to go into space and they took a long time building that, said Blaise.

      To commemorate the somber milestone the Wetherbee Planetarium at Thronateeska held Space Shuttle Saturday, a commemorative look back at the U.S. space program.

      It is definitely the end of an era and it is sad. I had to see the shuttle program end, said Astronomer Jim Friese.

      A lot of people don't really know about NASA so we wanted to do our part as best as we could to let people know about the history of the program. Let them know about the space shuttle, what they do, what they're used for, said Allison Young of the Thronateeska Heritage Center.

      But just because Americans won't be jumping on anymore shuttles, it doesn't mean hope for space exploration is lost, but consider it an indefinite suspension.

      They're still trying to get the Orion program up and running. I think the next mission is to go to an asteroid. But they still have to build all the systems to get there. We're looking at probably a good ten years before they are ready to try that mission. And then ultimately the goal is to get to Mars, said Friese.

      Which means there's still hope for Katie Blaise.

      I want to visit Mars and take a rock back to Earth, said Blaise.