It is disasters like today’s tragic loss of seven lives, who died when Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated in 60 km altitude during the re-entry into the atmosphere, that remind us of the courage, the risks and the possible hardship involved in human space exploration which are all too often forgotten when success has become routine.
It is days like these that make it difficult to believe in the rationale Kennedy once gave for human space exploration.
„We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…“
Those two women and five men who died today did not choose to board a shuttle because it was hard. They, as all other astronauts before them, pursued a dream for all of mankind which gave them the courage and strength to take extreme risks even though they knew it could be so hard for them and their loved ones.
I am not sure if it is already the time for NASA to announce that
„[w]e’ll find the cause, fix it, and then move on“
– as one official just stated on CNN. But remembering the days when I had a picture of shuttle Columbia in my room, there’s something I know for sure.