I had intended to talk about the weird weather here (99 degrees yesterday was the day’s high) and other such miscellany.
But I awoke, both to the radio and to a answering machine message from Felicia, about the disaster. Columbia is lost.
I was 15 when Challenger blew up, and I saw it on live TV. In those days, in the early ones of the shuttle program, the shuttle launches were a TV event at my house, we always watched their beauty and majesty. When we saw the explosion and the smoke ball, we all knew something horrible had happened.
It is a measure of the changed nature of the world that, back then, no one suspected or worried about foul play or terrorists or anything of that nature, it was considered an accident, a design flaw. For this tragedy, a lot of the talking time has been to downplay the idea that terrorists had anything to do with it. Such is the nature of the world we live in.
No American craft previously has failed on re-entry, all of the previous disasters have been on launch, or on the launchpad. Space Travel is not routine, and despite all of the safeguards put into the systems, it is still dangerous buisness, and today, we have horribly seen that.
May God bless the families of the Columbia Seven. Rest in Peace.