To The Moon, Alice

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle incident. When I was young, I always thought it would be terrifying to be an astronaut. I was afraid of the daark...and outer-space is nothing but pitch blackness dazzled with stars. I could not imagine flying, willingly, up there where space and time were endless. Who would want to do that? Who could be brave enough to do that? Not me.

I did love the 1986 movie Space Camp...but as you can see by this clip, it didn't ease my fears.

But those that did have the courage and heart to become something great, inspired me, none-the-less.

Yet, somehow, my childhood went by without be ever understanding what people were talking about when they asked, "Where were you when the challenger crashed?" Ummm...barely in kindergarten. Today, I went back and read parts of President Reagan's address to the nation on January 28, 1986...that day the shuttle was lost. This is what inspired me:

"There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."

I do remember where I was when the Columbia shuttle disintegrated. I was in my apartment in California, watching it on the television. I was devastated. How very strange to watch my TV and know that people were dying; right there on the screen. How very heartbreaking to know that their families were watching as well...unable to help...unable to stop what was unfolding.

"This cause of exploration and discovery is not an option we choose; it is a desire written in the human heart. We are that part of creation which seeks to understand all creation. We find the best among us, send them forth into unmapped darkness, and pray they will return. They go in peace for all mankind, and all mankind is in their debt. " ~President Bush at the Columbia memorial service.

I love those words. How true they are. When we are little, we are filled with questions that no one can answer for us. When we are grown, we set out into this world--into space--and we are determined to answer those questions. What an remarkable thing it is to be human. So curious. So courageous. So driven by the unknown and the excitement of adventure.

Where were you when these shuttles were lost? How did it impact you?



  1. I was not alive when Challenger devastation occurred and was in high school when Columbia happened. Tragic. I remember being moved to tears at just imagining the pain of their families.

    I hope the wounds have faded for these families. Best to all of them.

  2. Oh, wow. You just made me feel old. LOL And I'm not. :)