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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

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