Minister To Witness Shuttle Launch

July 7, 2011

Bermuda Transport Minister Terry Lister will have a ringside seat at the last launch of a Space Shuttle tomorrow [Jul. 8] as the US commemorates the decades-long cooperation between NASA and the island on America’s manned space programme.

Mr. Lister is currently in Florida with Ministry of Transport Permanent Secretary Ellen-Kate Horton and L.F. Wade International Airport General Manager Aaron Adderley for tomorrow’s scheduled lift off of Space Shuttle “Atlantis.” 

The 135th and last flight of a Space Shuttle — technically known as the Space Transportation System [STS] — will mark the end of the programme’s 30 year history.

The Shuttle was originally targeted for retirement in 2010 but the programme later received a reprieve from Washington and was extended though 2011.


Washington extended the invitation to the Ministry of Transport in appreciation of work undertaken between the Ministry and the United States Government relating to the National Aeronautics & Space Administration’s history in Bermuda.

NASA began work on a tracking station at Cooper’s Island in Bermuda in 1960. 

Among the local facility’s first tasks was coordinating the mission of Enos the “apeonaut” — a NASA-trained chimpanzee who piloted a Mercury space capsule in orbit around the earth in a 1961 dry-run for John Glenn’s historic “Friendship 7″ flight the following year.

Enos was brought to the island after splashing down off Bermuda.

The Cooper’s Island facility went on to play a pivotal role in the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle manned space programmes until the late 1990s.

When a new shuttle manoeuver introduced during a 1997 flight meant the Bermuda operation was no longer essential for the success of NASA launches, it was only a matter of time before financial considerations would lead to the closure of the local tracking station. 

Cooper’s Island supported its last Shuttle mission launch on April 19, 2001 and the facility was mothballed later that year.

Today [Jul. 7] the Bermuda delegation, along with other NASA special guests, had a behind the scenes tour of NASA facilities – including an up-close inspection of the shuttle “Discovery” which was the most recent orbiter to return to earth.

The group toured Cape Canaveral’s Shuttle Landing Facility, the Vehicle Assembly Building, the Space Shuttle Main Engine Shop and the Orbiter Processing Facility–Bay Two where the “Discovery” is currently housed.

Minister Lister said: “This trip assists in strengthening the relationship between the Ministry of Transport and NASA, which can only be of benefit to the people of Bermuda and I expect to make an announcement along these lines in due course.”

Currently the Shuttle launch is scheduled for 11.26 a.m. EST on Friday. However, at this point a delay looks to be a very real possibility.

Minister Lister said: “Despite the possibility of a delay in launch, we will, along with many millions, be praying that the launch will take place as planned.

“This is a truly historic event and we are pleased to be able to witness it firsthand.

“As we spoke with senior NASA employees today there was a spirit of oneness among them but there was also a sense of sadness as they knew that this very successful space programme was drawing to a close.”

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Comments (76)

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  1. Terry says:

    NASA has not been in Bermuda for over 25 years. History is such.

    Who’s paying for his trip/s

    Keep his ass home and wait and watch for the fireworks here.

    Oh thats right, he’ paying for it himself like Ewart did when he spent $37,000 on a trip to India.

    This gives a new meaning to Lister-latreen………………………

    • Born Bermudian says:

      You would be surprised at just HOW recently NASA has been in Bermuda. Perhaps you should wait on this one Terry, you might be pleasantly surprised.

      • itwasn'tme says:

        Several Containers of NEW NASA equipment on Coopers…..ya’ll fed right into this one


        • LMAO says:

          Another waste of taxpayers money. The govt is pulling money away from deserving charities who do a lot in the community….and at the same time they are sending a PLP entourage to Florida which amounts to little more than a party. The PLP do not care about Bermuda. Only their PLP supporters. Bermuda to them is just a “thing” to be taken advantage of. Pathetic.

          • Born Bermudian says:

            Sometimes it pays to look down the road for possibilities instead of ONLY looking in the mirror or 20′ ahead. As I said Bermuda might be pleasantly surprised.

            I kind of agree with the Floridian party part though, way too much!

    • Convenient says:

      Convenient how Dr. brown had a trip to India, and he and Rolfe Commission now have a deal to bring generic prescriptiond drugs from India.

  2. Au Contraire says:

    Good thing we’re the 3rd richest nation in the world (according to LaVerne). We’ve got money to blow and baby, we’re blowing it!

    Let the parties continue. No need to “recalibrate” anything here. Its party business as usual.

    • PEPPER says:

      I can not believe Paula cox made Lavern a senator !what was she thinking ?
      Bermudians black and white think she is joke.
      Lavern is one angry women and this is not the type of leadership we need in bda,

  3. Ray Charlton says:

    Another Junket and waste of tax payer’s money!
    How much did we waste for this trip $10,000?

    • Rockfish #1and#2 says:

      Who signed the cheque for this one? Surely not the “cog”

      • PEPPER says:

        Rockfish,the cog most likely signed the cheque….she allowed and signed the trips to India and God knows where else doc Brown and his delegation traveled…this so called Premier needs to be removed….she is worst than Brown… I am so disgusted what is going on …and guess what the Governor is not saying a word !!!

    • PEPPER says:

      Ray Charlton, I appreciate your comments on talk radio PLEASE KEEP CALLLING…
      I thought Everest Dacosta did an excellent interview with minister Zane Desilva today…Everest was right on with his questions to the minister.
      Ray ,you have lots of people who listen to you and get them thinking keep it up.

    • NO OBA says:

      Ray where were you and your support team and fans when Pamplin went to Africa on the government purse or that matter of fact Cole Simons and Louise Jackson went to Thailand? WHERE WERE YOU ALL? that is what the voters will see, that its ok for the the oba/ubp members to use up the purse and overruns on capital projects, but you slander all that is not part of those parties?????

      • Ray Charlton says:

        On the Everest show today, Minister Desilva was missing the point. Maybe the same brand generic drugs will be supplied from India that are exported from the USA. The difference is, that the USA is better regulated and has greater quality controls. India has become the couterfeit drug hub of the world and this has me concerned.

        For the Minister to say that he didn’t know Dr. Brown was setting up this business is difficult for me to believe. I wonder if Premier Cox believes this?

        I say the Minister should resign or be replaced!

        Pepper, thanks for the feedback. I feel that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

        • George Courtney says:

          Ray, stay on top of them. bermuda needs you & norman symons (stormin norman) as part or its ruilng government party.

          • Free Thinker says:

            You brain washed party loyalest make me laugh. If a broom stick was put to represent the opposition, you would vote for it, just as long as it’s against your opponent. Ray and Storm-in Norman, please!.

            What we need, are people who has the best interest of the Island at heart, and not party fanatics like Ray, Storm-in Norman and yourself. You all are too consumed with emotion you can’t think straight. The only thing you can think of is how much you hate the PLP and want to get rid of them.

            The PLP is not the problem, the problem is “Party Politics, which have divide and conquer you all is the problem, but you would have to be a rational thinking person to see that, not a “brain washed party fanatic.”

        • Riley B King says:

          The whole thing stinks.
          DeSilva changes the rules about generic drugs, and days later Ewart announces a new company taking advantage of those exact rule changes. And included in the deal are the Indian who was part of the India trip taken by Ewart last July. And Rolfe, who was paid to be the Premiers assistant.

          Obviously Ewart is still pulling all the strings and DeSilva is the biggest glove puppet.

    • Rob says:

      You can’t make any deals on $10,000. 1m. more likely.

  4. Shaking the Head says:

    Great news indeed. A strengthened relationship between the Min of Transport and NASA. Must mean we will shortly be using the space shuttles on the new Pink Route in Hamilton. Just think how the visitors in Salt Kettle can get into Hamilton in a nano second. Hamilton to Dockyard in the blink of an eye. Money well spent I say. Now this is resetting the dial!

  5. Terry says:

    Wow… won sant be a bullet……yet………………….I’m not that mad….yahooooo……………………………

  6. Au Contraire says:

    I’m sure they’ll all come back and tell the kids at the Sunshine League what a great place NASA is and how they should strive to get that Bda Secondary School Certificate so that they too can work at NASA.

    Money well spent Paula. The kids will thank you. Too bad they can’t vote yet.

  7. Have some sense says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……..maybe Minister Lister got confused when he read “shuttle” on the invitation and thought there’d be tips on how to solve the bus issues. Wonder if there was someone there directing them that all the seats were spoken for and to step aside in line for the next shuttle coming along…………?

  8. oh, the irony says:

    This is the same guy that said a few short years ago that Americans have no morals ..haha

    • sandgrownan says:

      Did he really grab that guy’s tie during the base negotiations….?

      • secret little incident says:

        I believe he’s talking about a different incident .. I think you’re thinking of where he ran out after the potential US morgan’s Point investors/developers who had abandoned the meeting after the then Environment Minister “Arthur” insulted them with his take on US history as it related to American Indians and property.
        He (Terry) was in fact trying to save the negotiations , but the news travelled far and wide quickly as to what kind of government Bermuda now had and from then on we could get NO US developers interested (and that was 10 years before the global recession began to hit so there’s your proof)

  9. B, a Lady says:

    We are all being told to tighten our belts, yet THREE people need to go to this event? I can get by with the
    Minister going, but why does he need TWO people holding his hand? What a waste of my hard- earned money (payroll tax, duty and so on)!

  10. sandgrownan says:

    What a f**king joke the PLP are. Unreal.

    same old living up on our dime. Cog has no spine. Ineffective & Incompetent.

    Well, at least Ewart gets to import cheap drugs from India thanks to Zane’s new legislation. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  11. It is what it is says:

    Mr. Lister’s travel to watch the shuttle will help our economy and unemployment and regular buses and ferries how??? He could have watched the launch from his living room couch like everyone else.,.,.,.SMDH!!!! All I can say is wow!!!!!!!

  12. Hbee says:

    So much for cutting costs.
    “This is a truly historic event and we are pleased to be able to witness it firsthand.”…similar to the current state of Bermuda’s economy (very sad). I try to tell myself it’s the individual people that are the problem Not the party; however, what we are witnessing is a disturbing trend within this gov’t administration.

  13. Watching! says:

    They should give him a seat on the space shuttle!

  14. Grace Bell says:

    @ NO OBA, fyi there are Parliamentary Trips that are paid for by the public purse, namely that of the H of A that members from both parties attend. They are always mentioned in the news, both PLP and Opposition Members. In fact Sen. Laverne Furbert amongt others went to Grenada. This personal trip to Cape Canaveral is not the same thing. In my view this should ahve been paid by the 2 ministers… this is not Government Business. Lets wait and see what the Auditor General will do about this.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Why single me out Ms. Bell?

      • Young Observer says:

        Senator I believe if you read Ms. Bells statement you will see that she approved of your trip to Grenada Perhaps she singled you out because you are the only one that has come back and talked about the trip…but again i see that Ms.Bell was approving of your trip as a good use of the public purse. With all due respect i would caution you against always being on attack mode because you end up mistakingly going after those who are supporting you!

        • LaVerne Furbert says:

          There were seven people who traveled to Grenada, including youth parliamentarians. I am not the subject of the debate here, did not comment before Ms. Bell made her comment, so I found it strange that she referred to me by name. Certainly Ms. Bell traveled to CPA conferences while she was Member of the House. Why didn’t she refer to her own trip(s). I don’t believe Ms. Bell is supporting me nor do I believe her statement meant that she approved of my trip.

          Since when is asking a question mean that one is in “attack mode”?

          • Observer of the week says:

            Ms. Furbert you are always on “attack mode” and shown some hosility to many people. She only reference you in a trip and supported your actions to Grenada. I think as a Senator, you need to keep your hand off the “panic button” because at times, im seen you squash peoples thought, opinion and theory on certain matters, that do make sense. As a Senator, I would hope that you build a rational reason to put forward the comments that you do, but as a person who has listen to you numerous times, I see that your only goal in life is to refute everything. Your senator careers will be very short-lived if you keep going on attacking the public.

            • LaVerne Furbert says:

              “Observer of the week”,

              Please share with me and other reading this blog, your interpretation of “attack mode”. I’m sure you would find it hard to believe that on a daily basis many Bermudians encourage me to continue to ask me to be their voice (interpret that any way you can). It matters not to me whether Grace Bell supported my trip to Grenada. My trip, and the “trip” the other six people, was approved by the Bermuda Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

              One of my goals in life is to correct the misinformation that continues to be “blogged” in Bermuda by anonymous posters. Further, my “raison d’etre” is not to have a senate career, but to share my life experiences with others in an effort to improve their quality of life. What you deem as an attack, others deem as an effort to set the record straight.

              By the way, I have an opinion too, and I should be as free as you and the others on this blog to express it. I did not just start expressing my opinion when I became a Senator. I’ve been expressing my opinion for over forty years, and never anonymously.

      • Rockfish #1and#2 says:

        Because you make your self an easy target,ask your self why?

      • sandgrownan says:


      • Vote NO for imposters says:

        Grace where were you when they were slamming the delegates that went on the trip to Grenada last week? They were slamming because no OBA member went. This is what is happening here, with Ray, Terry and others, they slam when its the PLP but not their own UPBOBA. by the way are you the lady that crossed the floor and joined the PLP then crossed over to BDA and now OBA>?

        • Vote NO for imposters says:

          Pamplin has been on numerous trips paid by the government and no one questioned her actions.

  15. bda for life says:

    Why doesn’t the who plp government get on the space shuttLe and go on a one way trip!!

    • joonya says:

      LOL!! The only problem with that is that Paula will have to insist on taking the wheel because she knows how get to the Space Station.

      And when it starts hurldling off track towards the Sun with certain doom, she will say “I assure everyone there is no need to panic, as that is not the Sun, that is simply our bright future ahead of us.”

      And all passengers remain calm as they put their trust in their capable, accomplished pilot….

    • Rob says:

      Actually a space trip has been planned for the PLP. They will be stopping off at the first hotel built in orbit, The Ritz space Carlton, owned by EB

  16. Scott says:

    Given our history with NASA, and us being a major part in its beginning and growth, i am not against sending some sort of delegate there to represent us if officially invited for some ceremony..

    however i do NOT see how the TRANSPORT minister qualifies for this position… but indeed it seems he was the one who the invitation was given too.

    i like to harp on PLP for overspending too, but sometimes there are official invitations that should be accepted. However the budget for these trips should be closely monitored. No massive entourages, no top end hotels, and no first class tickets.

    • Scott says:

      and yes, in this case, i feel anyone other than the minister going is too big an entourage. It seems like a pretty simple trip involving some ceremony, and thats it.

  17. GPS says:







    • Onion says:

      Lol i will liken that analogy to you going out with one of your boys to a bar and him ordering 2 drinks giving you one of them and putting it on your tab. He is still sharing with you….

    • recalls ... says:


      What are you …. 10 years old ? Or do you just have selective amnesia ?

      That’s all they did for 40 effin years ! !

      As we can now all see they had and have nothing to offer instead. (except how to blow our money )

    • Riley B King says:

      You are a complete moron. The money the PLP is “sharing” is not theirs to begin with. It comes from two places. The first place they get it from (a small amount of it, these days) is by collecting taxes, i.e. the money is ours, not theirs. The second place they get it from (most of it) is by borrowing it. The PLP is not “sharing” wealth that has been earned, or produced. They are just spending money. Any idiot can do that.

    • DeathtoUnions says:

      Wow you are ignorant, PLP is spending money they don’t have. They are essentially paying off credit cards with a different line of credit. There will come a point where no one will be willing to accept their credit. While most countries are clawing themselves out of a recession Bermuda continues to spiral downwards.

      If they had demonstrated some fiscal responsibility and saved some money while times were good (as there was a surplus when the entered power) then they would be able to afford to operate fully. Name one project they have taken on that has come in on budget…too busy lining their pockets excessive salaries and kick backs to the detriment of the average Bermudian (most notably their voters). Traded 40 thieves for 80, ironically they are doing exactly what they wined about back then!

      GPS Pah! You couldn’t find North if you were sitting on North Rock!

    • Linda says:

      You are delusional!!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      GPS, you mean you don’t remember the daily moan in 98 & earlier by Rolfie Commision talking about how “The UBP has failed…and failed miserably”.

      I’m waiting for Rolf, Lavern or any of the PLP radio muppets to explain how the $1B debt the PLP has run up in just a few years is such an outstanding success.

  18. Free Thinker says:

    Wow the comments have me laughing they are all over the place today, but on a note for generic drugs what we all should be interested is the active ingedient if they are the same then by them they are cheaper I see that at the pharmacy every day go ask them for your self

  19. The Real says:

    Maybe the minister is looking into Bermuda having its own space shuttle. We’ll need one to get off this rock as global warming increases since L.F. Wade is near sea level. I guess its a better solution than working on reducing the vehicle emissions in BDA which would mean giving up the massive vehicles we now have. By the way, what ever happen to the size limit law for cars & trucks here? Oh I remember now! Government elected a minister with a massive construction company that needs massive trucks to make him massive money. All that needed to be done for all this massiveness was to pull some tiny little TCD strings to change the law. Who cares anyway, only ones being affected by the pollution are the toads & since we’re not toads than no worries. Besides we have a space shuttle on its way to take us to paradise once this one is totally destroyed.

    This Is The Real

  20. US Observer says:

    This is quite interesting…@Young Observer – you are correct in your statement to Sen. Furbert when she asked Grace Bell “Why single me out Ms. Bell?”

    Really?? I had an instant flashback when I was in highschool having witnessed one teenager asking a teacher that very same question. And for a senator to ask Grace Bell this question on a public news source/forum? If the senator needed an answer or clarity you would think she would handle this more appropriatly and contact Grace Bell herself…in my opinion, that was a defensive move on the senators part when Grace Bell was clearly making a solid statement regarding official travel.

    • nice says:

      that’s scary when a Senator has time to read and reply on you have so much time on your hands go purchase two CD’s Collie Buddz and Proud to be Bermudian…That should help our locals and economy…Buy Bermuda

    • Cleancut says:

      Yes but when Sen. Furbert calls Grace Bell personally it ends right there. It’s like a defence Lawyer Rebutting inside the court bathroom. Nothing will be heard.

  21. Mr. Wiggin says:

    I hear Mr. Lister is thinking of replacing buses with the now available shuttles.

    St. Georges to Dockyard in 0.3 milliseconds. And only $50 million dollars per ticket!!

    • Cleancut says:

      $50 million a ticket, not bad, I just might think about getting rid of my G Class car before the end of the year- and take the shuttle.

  22. Concerned Bermudian says:

    We pay all these different taxes and get nothing in return. Our roads are garbage, our police are retarded and incompetant, and our Politicians are just as bad. How dare they take our money to go away to see a space shuttle take off, when I can’t even take a weekend trip to New Jersey when the tickets are on sale? I believe that if they want to take a trip with our money they need to put a voting poll on this website or Government website and allow the TAXPAYERS to vote on whether they should go or not. They need to clearly state how much will be spent and how our country will benefit. They have taken our money and slipped out of the island like a thief in the night. And here we are two days later just finding out that they are gone. I am tired of these robbers taking our money and spending it on pointless projects. We as the TAXPAYERS need to stand up to these robbers and tell them NO, this money is here so that you can put it back into Bermuda, not your wallets, not for your entertainment and definetly not for your disposal. It is time that we take control over our Island home and get these people out and now. I hope Paula is reading because the people are sick and tired and we want an election NOW!!!

    • true says:

      Agreed, stop voting on skin color and start voting for a party which won’t take out hard earned money. The black and white issue in politics in the country is disgusting. I’m a young black male and i find it disgusting how we have a bad name for ourselves and how our government is run. It is time for a change!

  23. George Courtney says:

    terry lister could have sent a congrats cable to the head of nasa & watch the final departure & arrival on cnn

  24. Ganja mon says:

    This is good news. We rented NASA land for 50 years. I think its good they invited our delegates to watch the launch.

    Think about it, if this shuttle ever had any problems it will be landing in BDA.
    Some of you people need to sit back and realize this is part of being an MP. You have to represent the country.

    • Truth says:

      If the shuttle ever landed here, I pity the poor astronauts who have to endure the wrath of our angry customs and immigration crew. That’s always the downer moment of all my trips off-island…coming home and facing those grumps.

    • YES MATE! says:

      @Ganja Mon – We didn’t rent any land to NASA, they were on the US base here, that they got free as part of the lend-lease programme between the US and UK.
      All we can hope is that Minister Listless takes some notes on how to run a public transport system….no wait….he’s probably riding around in a limousine on our dime.

    • PEPPER says:

      Ganja mon much have you smoked today ?if Terry and Horton were invited to florida, Nasa should have payed their way !! not us…we were told by our Premier we need to cut back and DO MORE WITH LESS..I guess the old saying is “do what I say not what I do” still is their motto…..

  25. Sick and Tired Bermudaian says:

    Once again here we go more unnecessary money being spent by our minister of transport and his P.S. and other to go to Florida to see the launch of the space shuttle…Why is it so necessary when we should be saving as much as possible????

    Lead by eaxmple??? This is not a good example at all when TCD went Ten million dollors over budget and now I see the PS is making major changes to the 1st floor of the Transport control Departmen already, how much is this going to cost??? We would like to know!!!

    • PEPPER says:

      Well Terry and new bride needed a second honeymoon….after all they are still newly weds, so he impressed her with this very expensive trip to Florida.. and why did Ellen K. Horton have to go ? if we do not get answers from our leader we will just make up own reasons and start rumours..and that is the way it is in bda.

      • Cleancut says:

        I am sure a very ELOQUENT response will follow.

  26. Free Thinker says:

    I beg to differ they are always so kind and polite to me never had a problem but thats because I pay my duty like one should

    • Free Thinker says:

      This is going to be confusing, especially if we don’t see “eye to eye”. It would be nice if you get you own screen name. But what the hell! if you also think you are a free thinker also, only time will tell. I will see if you are a real “Free Thinker” or just another Party Loyalist. Because, one cannot truly call themselves a Free Thinker and is affiliated with any Political or religious organization, which only serves to restrict that free thinking ability.

  27. Triangle Drifter says:

    It would be great to see Lister & the entourage lighting a match under the shuttle as the countdown reaches 1. Great photo op for the bunch of them.

  28. Familygirl says:

    Discontinuing the Space Shuttle program was one of the first acts passed under the Obama administration. The program’s final launch was suppose to have happened last year. The winding down of the program over the past two to four years resulted in layoffs of many different sectors in the United States. What I find interesting is that layoffs happened on this Island as well in those specialized fields over the past two years and no one seemed to noticed. I find it even more interesting that very few people even knew and understood the different tentacles connecting Bermuda and the Space Shuttle program. I find it even more interesting that people don’t even care to find out!

    • Cleancut says:

      I guess that is more than enough good reason for deepening our debt and jeopardizing future jobs.

  29. LOL says:

    This is the funny senseless season. all will chime in.

  30. Blade CX2 says:

    It may be a waste of taxpayer money, but I bet it would be a site to see in person. I’d love to witness a shuttle launch. I guess I’ll have to stick to the news and youtube….