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11:29 am - Sat 2/01/03
Looking to the sky

Looking To The Sky

Have been watching the news...

My first thought, my first hope, was that they were going to be found crash-landed in a cornfield somewhere. Shaken up, but safe and sound.

I don't have anything particularly profound to say about this latest space shuttle disaster. It's just very sad, to see pictures of the crew, in the prime of their lives, and realize they're...gone. Imagining parents getting the news that their children have died, spouses getting word and having to explain to their children what's happened, the ripple effect of sadness and loss through extended families and friends and coworkers. Lives ended, and a number of lives changed forever, in an instant.

And I'm not going to say that my problems are meaningless in light of something like this, because that's not really true. But it does suggest that maybe a little perspective is in order; I've had some tough times before, and I'm having some tough times now, but I'm alive. And on the whole, that has to be seen as a good thing.

(I turned off the news, because it's reached the point where they don't have anything new to say, but just keep going over the same few pieces of information they do have.)

Of course, the question immediately arises as to whether it was terrorism or not, but that seems unlikely, and it seemed to be pretty quickly dismissed by officials (I'm guessing that when all's said and done, they'll find a screw was loose, or some equally small-but-critical detail was overlooked).

I thought it was interesting at one point; They were interviewing an editor of some magazine on space, and he was talking about how important the space program was, suggesting the need to start developing the ability to colonize other planets in the event of a disaster here on Earth.

I thought that was interesting on a couple of fronts...

Maybe I've been missing something, but I've never seen that as the main drive for space exploration. At least you never hear anyone at NASA playing that up as the reason they do what they do (I know it'll probably be possible within my lifetime, but it still feels very far away and "science fictiony" to me).

It also made me think about how it's genuinely possible that we could screw things up so badly, whether through war or "planet abuse" or what-have-you, that it could someday come down to leaving or dying.

And being an "Impoverished American", I find myself thinking the rich and powerful will fly off in their spaceships, and the rest of us will be left to the mercies of radiation, or space aliens, or whatever.

So I guess that kind of brings me full circle...

We don't know how long we have, we don't know how it's gonna end, so it really behooves us to make the most out of the here-and-now.


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