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.
So, yesterday was a pretty good day for me. Allow me to explain the full breadth of what such a day entailed.
First off, I get up at 11:30, simply because Heather finally decided I had slept too late. All-in-all, I woke refreshed and ready. We went to go grab some lunch. We came home, I relaxed and played a few games.
Around 2:15, we headed over to the neighboring town of Waynesboro to go see the new Thor movie at the first stadium-seating digital theater in the area (about time we got one). Thor was fun. I know nothing about the source material from the comics so I can’t pass any judgement on that front, but overall the film was fun and never took itself too seriously. Plus the fact it has Natalie Portman playing an astrophysicist. A “Hollywood” astrophysicist, but an astrophysicist none-the-less. If you know me at all, you’d understand the amount of man-jelly I turned into at that notion. The film is good entertainment and worth checking out.
Afterwards, we were headed over to my good friend Dana’s home to celebrate her birthday/nursing school graduation. On the way, we stopped at a 7-11 to pick up some soda for the party. Heather got a big Slurpee in a Thor cup, which made her to revert to child-like glee which was really cute. But I walk into the 7-11 and right there by the front door are some movies. Immediately catching my eye was “previously viewed” copy, that I’m fairly certain was new, of the Discovery Channel series When We Left Earth about the history of NASA’s manned-spaceflight program on Blu-Ray. It was only $13. With no hesitation I picked that up. Great series that I recommend if you like that sort of thing. Its on Netflix Instant Watch.
Then we headed over to Dana’s where I got to spend time with good friends I hadn’t seen in a while, eat some good food and congratulate one of my best friends on a great accomplishment. When we got tired, we left and got home just in time to catch the newest episode of Doctor Who on BBC America.
What does a good day look like? It looks like that.