It’s no secret that I’m fan of space science, space travel and NASA in general. While I revel in the robotic missions out to the far reaches of our backwoods corner of the Milky Way, there is always a special place in my heart for manned space flight. From Mercury to whatever will follow our now-ended shuttle program, I cheer for those who brave the wilds of cold uncaring cosmos. Those brave and curious few who dare to dream that we may travel among the stars. However, these upcoming days always brings to light the dangers that we sometimes forget are present in the pursuit of our journeys to the unknown.
The most major space-related disasters of the United States space program have anniversaries within one week of each other. It is a humbling and difficult time for those, like me, who see the cosmos as the next great adventure for humankind.
On January 27, 1967; during a launch rehearsal an electrical fire within the cockpit of Apollo 1 claimed the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.
On January 28, 1986; a faulty o-ring caused troubles and the disintegration of the Space Shuttle Challenger and the deaths of its crew of seven.
On February 1, 2003; during re-entry the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated and cost seven more lives.
Many others, from other nations, have also given their lives in this great experiment.
For all those who have given their lives in the pursuit of our dreams of yearning to explore; my heart, sympathy and thanks are given with utmost gratitude.