July 8, 2011
Al Sacco Jr. was among the privileged few to get officially invited to Cape Canaveral
to watch this morning's historic liftoff of Atlantis — the last of NASA's fleet of
rugged, mule-like shuttles to rumble into space.
But Mr. Sacco, the former chairman of the chemical engineering department at Worcester
Polytechnic Institute who blasted into space himself in 1995 as a payload specialist
aboard the shuttle Columbia, declined the invitation and will, instead, be in his
office at Texas Tech University — keeping abreast of developments at the Florida launchpad
through broadcast reports.