Since the beginning of humankind, there has been an insatiable desire for us to go further, to learn more and take even greater risks in the process. This has been the case:
– For Christopher Columbus when he set out for India and landed on this continent.
– For the Pilgrims landing here in 1620.
– For all the men and women who headed west over difficult terrain.
– For those who have climbed Mt. Everest.
– For those who explored the depth of our seas.
– And many others …
Starting in the last century, space has provided the greatest growth opportunities and most dramatic risks. From Sputnik in 1957 to the U.S .moon landing in 1969 to touching down on Mars recently, we have pushed farther and farther to understand our universe.
Throughout all of this discovery, countless men and women have risked their lives. No matter where we have gone, on Earth or beyond, it has been at the cost of lives. So many have died in the pursuit of greater knowledge and a better life for others.
In 1986, the space shuttle challenger exploded during takeoff over the Atlantic Ocean, taking seven lives and thwarting an exciting mission connected to classrooms.
And today marks the 10th anniversary of the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster. The Columbia was the first of its kind to propel astronauts into space and to our space station. During its 28th mission, which started on January 16th, it exploded, sending debris over several states.
Space travel has always been a marvel to me. This explosion took lives of astronauts we had been watching doing “routine” work for almost two weeks. It was heartwrenching.
Take a moment today to think about all of the brave people in the who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the years in the name of discovery, not only in the space program, but since the dawn of time. Where there is danger, there are risk takers.
Today we especially remember, with great appreciation, Rick Husband (Commander), William McCool, Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon