I'm not misty-eyed over the Space Shuttle: it was a beautiful white elephant. The SF-reading romantic in me mourns the loss of potential.
The bitter realist in me wishes we could have spent all that money and effort in cleaning up the planet we've got, feeding everyone and improving our lives.
The Shuttle was a dead-end: unsafe and limited. Humans won't ever reach other planets - the distances and laws of physics prevent it. We should have put our energy into unmanned craft, and rocket satellite launches. But its end still makes me sad.