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February 1, 2003

As most people have by now heard, the space shuttle Columbia broke up on its reentry into the earth's atmosphere this morning a little after 9:00 EST. On board were 7 astronauts, 6 Americans (including a naturalized Indian), and Israel's first astronaut. The shuttle broke apart at an elevation of roughly 203,000 ft and going a speed of around Mach 18 (about 12,500 mph). Survival was impossible and we can only hope they didn't suffer and pray for their families and friends.Perhaps like many people, I have erroneously thought of space shuttle missions as routine, at least since the explosion of the Challenger 17 years ago. This should be an awakening to those people who take space exploration for granted that it is not without risk. While I'm sure they didn't anticipate it, these fine 7 people gave their lives for the furthering of science and technology. I was listening to some callers expressing their thoughts on C-Span and heard one caller say that NASA is being irresponsible in sending people up and should not send up anyone else unless there is no chance something can go wrong. I wish I could have kicked that man. I have not heard a more dumb and naive comment in a long time. Besides the fact that the space shuttle is the most complex system ever created, I am somewhat of a scientist myself and I understand that everything has its own risks and costs. Those astronauts, and pioneers of any kind, are aware of them. Were it not for the sacrifice of these great men and women, science would not go forward. Nearly all great advances in the history of society have come with great risks and the shedding of blood, and while we certainly wish no one would need to lose their life, it is strangely intrinsic to great advancements. Perhaps it's the sacrifice given that makes an event great. May those that passed on rest in peace.

Posted by charr at 7:01 PM
Reader Comments

Ronnie Haig, Song Writer of Indiana
Lam T. Nguyen, Poet of Washington State OUR HEROES !
Oh ! Our Astronauts ! Our Heroes !
You did complete wonderful jobs !
And you returned on your flight
But you disappeared in the sky
You all will fly more and more high
Into The Heaven plenty of light
Enjoy Happiness most delight
You're around us...never die
Now, you're can fly
We love you all ! Our bye-bye
Our Heroes ! Our Heroes ! I wrote this Poem right after The Columbia Disaster on Feb.01-2003 to honor All Columbia Crew as Our Real Heroes. My Poem was choosen to publish in two Poetry Books and record in special
CD Album of The International Library of Poetry in Maryland.
Mr. Ronnie Haig, a very talent American Song Writer already Set My Poem to The Music. His New
Song is so emotional and wonderful song ! It's a
song for the Movie ! It's The Theme Song ! We wish
Our Song will be performed in The National First Anniversary of The Columbia Disaster will take place somewhere on February 01-2004.
We hope to hear from you soon.
Many thanks for your time.

Posted by Lam T Nguyen, Poet at December 23, 2003 2:32 PM

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Last Updated 11/07/03