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Space Shuttle 'Columbia'


JuliaD

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Julia, I remember so clearly waking up on that January morning in 1986 to news on the radio of the Challenger accident. This time, I hadn't made it to the TV or radio before checking in at EC.com. You were my first notice about Columbia. Such a tragedy for the astronauts' families, our space program, and our country.

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Challenger was very hard for me, I sat and cried for hours. I saw Challenger lift off live and in person on its last successful mission (not the day it blew up, but the previous mission), and it was the thrill of a lifetime, one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I was watching tv when they broke in with that news, and I was practically in shock. Yesterday was a bit different, I was in bed watching tv, but I had the cartoon network on (lol), and needless to say, they didn't break into that with the news. After Tom and Jerry ended, I came downstairs, put on a pot of coffee, and checked my e-mail, and found an e-mail from my brother saying Columbia disintegrated. My first thought was "what's the joke?", because my brother is known for his bizarre sense of humor, and he constantly sends e-mail jokes, but then I put CNN on and realized there was no joke. It is sad, but these people died doing what they loved, and there is some comfort in that.

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I've been down in bed with the flu all weekend, and the first thing I saw on Saturday morning was the horrible news of the space shuttle explosion. I immediately thought of where I was when I heard about Challenger, and it doesn't seem like 17 long years ago. Again, just looking at the beautiful faces of those precious people lost is devastating to the soul.

God bless them and comfort their grieving families, friends and the world which mourns them. --Darlene

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This is a truly a tragic event. I remeber all too well the Challenger. My heart goes out to all their family members. This is so sad! We should review what happened and do what ever it takes to correct the problem. Space flight is very dangerous, I think we become too complacent and take for granted the risks these people take. We must continue on with manned exploration, however, we need to step back take pause and re-evaluate where we are and where we are going with the space program. Hopefully this is not a case of NASA cutting corners to save money. I do not think it is, this is just a terrible terrible accident. God Bless The Families!!!

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Yeah, and it's looking more and more like that's what they believe caused the problem. I sure wouldn't wanna be the guy (or guys) at NASA that decided it wasn't something to be overly concerned about, even if nothing happens to them as far as legalities or anything, to go thru the rest of your life with that on your conscience? *shudder*

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Whether it's worth it or not, based on the money spent, is tough to answer, but as far as what we're gaining from it, I do know that all kinds of scientific experiments are conducted in space, and also that many scientific advances have been made over the years just through the process of getting to space. I think it's too big an avenue of discovery to write off as not worth it. Also, we stagnate if we don't explore. Plus, at the rate we're trashing and overpopulating this planet, somebody better go find us a new one to live on. Astronauts know they're in a risky business when they take on the job, and nobody's forcing them to do it. As someone posted earlier, they die in a line of work they love.

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Yes, I think it's worth it. Wherever you have (had) exploration of any sort, you have had loss... land, sea, and air... where would we all be if those before us cowered at the first shipwreck, car crash, or fallen plane? Sometimes the risks don't yield results in *our* lifetime, but they will in the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. The cure for cancer may rest on a planet yet to be explored. It could also lie at the bottom of our own oceans. Exploration is learning, learning is knowledge, and knowledge is power. We must never lose sight of that.

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It is worth the risk! We must crawl before we walk and walk before we run. We will stumble from time to time, but we must go on. Someday, maybe even in our lifetime space travel will be common place. We don't stop flying in jet aircraft because there is a terrible crash with great loss of life. We should review where we are with the space program, learn and move on. NASA needs to establish clear goals and how to reach them. When we went to the moon we had a clear goal in mind.

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