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( Feb. 27th, 2006 10:41 am)
If you saw last night's closing ceremonies, and wondered what in the world Vancouver's mascot was supposed to represent... it's an inukshuk.
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( Feb. 2nd, 2003 11:41 am)
I am so furious at a poster in [ profile] dot_cattiness right now I can barely speak.

You're right, you callous, souless, holier-than-thou b*tch, I did not know anyone personally who lost their lives on Columbia. And you're also right, people die every day. That's tragic, I agree.

But this disaster represented more than these seven people. Bus accidents and train accidents happen... they are random acts of fate. Death comes to us all, in one way or another, at some time.

These people *were* different. They choose a difficult and dangerous task -- one which very few people are capable of doing, or even willing to take the risk to do. And they did this not to wage war or for crass commercialism or for their own personal glory, but to further humanity. (Quick... how many of you can name a current astronaut -- other than the seven who died?) And, even more anonymously, working with them were people on the ground (some of whom my husband *does* know) trying to pursue goals beyond themselves and their country. They were reaching for the stars for all of us. And it is not just Americans: I weep for the Israeli astronaut as much for the Americans. And when the Russians lose cosmonauts in space I grieve them, too.

Those who go into space, and those on the ground who make space flight possible, are in so many ways, among the very best and brightest on earth, regardless of nationality. They work the stuff of dreams into amazing reality.

We've been a part of the NASA family for fifteen years, now. I wince when the unmanned missions go awry, because I know the dedication and love put into them. I weep when a shuttle blows apart because I know what it means for those people to have been there.

And I am angry... angry that a nation so quick to eulogize its dead heroes is so slow to fund program improvements that maybe could have made a difference. No one wants to hear about the space program, until there is a failure. No one wants to pay to develop new -- and safer -- generations of vehicles (at a cost roughly equivalent to developing a new toy for the military) but some are more than willing to grandstand after we've lost seven brave souls.

We are not just grieving the death of Rick Husband, Michael Anderson, William McCool, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon, we are grieving our dreams and hopes.


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