Saturday, February 01, 2003

In Memoriam: The Columbia Seven

With millions of others, I was shocked and grieved to hear of the destruction this morning of the space shuttle, Columbia. My prayers go to the families and friends of those who died.

It is hard to describe fully the impact of the space program on my career development. At age 49 now, I grew up with the space program. I remember vividly being in elementrary school and watching with fascination as Alan Shepherd became the first US man in space; John Glenn's first orbital flight; Gus Grissom (a fellow Purdue grad) and his colleagues dying in our first space accident; Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon; the Challenger disaster in 1986. Through it all, the space program inspired me and many others to pursue the development of technology and its impact on human lives.

Risks are real. We must continue. And we can learn from disaster. We can persevere.

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