Tag Archives: spaceshuttle


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Everybody seems to have a com­ment on the Space Shuttle. I do have to feel sad­ness for the astro­nauts and their fam­i­lies. Even though “you knew the job was dan­ger­ous when you took it” and they are like the new pio­neers (how many peo­ple died while explor­ing The West?), that does not make it any dif­fer­ent. I have to agree with Feedle's com­ments. What makes me even more sad about the shut­tle dis­as­ter are the kids and their exper­i­ments. STS-107 was the first pure research mis­sion in sev­eral years–all other recent mis­sions were related to con­struct­ing and shuf­fling peo­ple about the International Space Station. This one was about research and edu­ca­tion. They got thou­sands of school­rooms across the coun­try to sub­mit pro­pos­als for experiments–not high-tech physics and rocket sci­ence exper­i­ments, but the kind of grade school sci­ence exper­i­ment any kid would do (assum­ing they had access to a multi mil­lion dol­lar orbiter). The exper­i­ments that were selected were pre­pared by the kids. Each class­room got to pick a cou­ple of rep­re­sen­ta­tives to fly down to Florida and help install the experiment's hard­ware in the shut­tle. There were exper­i­ments involv­ing ants, silk­worms and spi­ders, meal­worms, rats, ros­esm and other things. The class­rooms got to watch video feeds of their exper­i­ments from the ground. All of these kids's exper­i­ments and dreams were on the shut­tle. They were pay­ing much more atten­tion to this mis­sion than those of recent years. It sad­dens me that this was a shut­tle mis­sion that tried to make sci­ence cool, fun, and acces­si­ble to kids.

Posted in: Dear Diary