I was in the shower listening to a local radio auction that's held each year about this time. I all heard them say was that the auction was being suspended, because this was not a time to be holding a radio auction. It wasn't until I turned on the television that I learned what had happened. They have no word on survivors, but considering the altitude of the break-up and the size of the debri field, I think we know their fate. Our prayers are with the families of the Columbia astronauts.
I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't rumors spreading within minutes of the tragedy that it was a terrorist attack against the Israeli astronaut and/or the United States. Events like this bring out all sorts of "experts".
>They have no word on survivors, but considering the altitude
>of the break-up and the size of the debri field, I think we
>know their fate.
There never will be survivors in such an event, not at that suddenness, speed and altitude with the craft breaking up around them. Even if they had an escape pod they could get into, and jettison out like a pilot from a fighter plane, it aint gonna happen, the speed, altitude and forces are too great to survive.
Men will still go to space. Men and women will go to space, for the same reasons that people have crossed the seas. I greave for the families of those lost today. But, not for the people. they knew what they were doing, they new their risks, they went and if I were younger I would go as well.
If humanity is going to survive into the future, we must send men to space. The earth is just one fragile space craft. It would only take one asteroid to kill all life here on earth. We have seen the kind of thing just a few years ago on Jupiter.
Many of the things we take for granted in our society is the direct result our manned space program. Even the computer you are reading this on, is the direct result of space program developments. The First micro processors were developed not by Intel, not for public use, but for a space program. The people that worked on that program went on to develop the first commercial products.
In times like this we all need to look at life and the risks involved in life. We do need to put this in perspective. The gains to man kind in my opinion greatly exceed the costs. The cost in human life can't be measured, but as has been pointed out by others we have lost very few people to space. We loose more for very preventable and inexcusable reasons.
Frankly I see no benefit to sending this thing up repeatedly like this just to orbit the planet. I see little benefit to sending it to Mars or the moon, neat as it would be to see more photos and rock samples.
Frankly, I'm appalled that you would make such a post at this time of national mourning....