For the second time, a close friend called me early in the morning and told me, with an overwhelming pain in his voice, to turn on the television.
For the second time in my life, I sat in front of the TV and listened to Dan Rather, and cried at what I saw.
For the second time, we'd lost a shuttle.
I've been following the Space Program since I was a little kid. To this day I remember sitting in front of the TV in the auditorium and watching men walk on the moon. I was just a kid. Age in the single digits. But those grainy black and white images are forever ingrained in my memory.
I know I'll never realize the dream of becoming an astronaut. IT Geeks don't fly in space, and I'm not rich enough to buy my way into orbit.
I have this deep seate dread that some moron in government will say "This is too expensive!" or "This is too dangerous!" and the Powers that Be - who are more concerned with preserving the obsolete business models of the people who bribe them, and who would rather fight a war no one else really wants - are going to turn their backs on the Space Program.
I know, all too well, that projects like the IIS often run behind schedule and over budget. But that doesn't mean they don't make incredible contributions to Humanity as a whole. I can only hope the short-sighted politicians won't turn their backs on the future, and let these seven astronauts die in vain.
You will not be forgotten.