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January 28, 2010

Challenger you are GO at throttle up…

24 years ago today… I remember what I was doing… do you?

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I remember the haunting words of Pilot, Mike Smith, regarding the decision to delay the launch on Jan 26th due to rain he knew wouldn’t arrive, and was very concerned about the pending cold front expected on the 28th…

Smith was quite critical of NASA's decision to scrub the scheduled January 26 launch of Challenger due to a forecast of rain. His experience as a pilot naturally led him to study the weather patterns prior to the flight, and a study of the jet stream caused him to be concerned about an approaching cold front over Cape Canaveral. Earlier, he had urged NASA technicians to complete installation of needed spare parts so the shuttle could get off the ground by January 26 at the latest. As it turned out, the expected rain never arrived, and a frustrated Smith told a friend…

"You know, you've got people down here making decisions who've never even flown an airplane before."

Rest in peace, Dick, Mike, Judy, Ellis, Ron, Greg and Christa…

January 28, 2010 in Aviation | Permalink

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Well the vision has been presented; and the White House has none. India...yes, India has a goal to go to the moon. We do not. No JFK spirit there. Worse than Jimmy Carter. Pathetic.
Mr. Bolden should resign. In an era of massive federal spending increases, the best he can do is have no goal, a minimal increase in funding and basically choose to "out-source" the exploration of space. Please stop wasting our time Mr. Bolden and out-source yourself NOW. Those crews did die in vain and on your watch. Mr. Augustine you have no vision. Thanks for forcing that on to ALL of NASA.

Posted by: Ken | Feb 3, 2010 5:14:21 PM

This week we should all remember the crews of Apollo 1 (27 Jan. 1967), Challenger (28 Jan. 1986) and Columbia (1 Feb. 2003). Their sacrifice in the reaching to the stars should never be forgotten or in vain. They gave their lives to further humanity's need to explore and travel in space.

"If we die, we want people to accept it. We're in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life."
–Gus Grissom, Commander Apollo 1

“The sacrifice of your loved ones has stirred the soul of our nation and, through the pain, our hearts have been opened to a profound truth--the future is not free, the story of all human progress is one of a struggle against all odds.
We learned again that this America, which Abraham Lincoln called the last best hope of man on Earth, was built on heroism and noble sacrifice. It was built by men and women like our seven star voyagers, who answered a call beyond duty, who gave more than was expected or required, and who gave it with little thought to worldly reward.” -President Ronald Reagan, Jan. 31 1986

"The cause in which they died will continue. Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on…

The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home." -President George W. Bush, Feb. 1 2003

Let us all hope the current occupant of the White House does not choose to marginalize their hopes and sacrifices. We shall soon see.

Posted by: Ken | Jan 30, 2010 10:48:45 PM

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