2003-02-08 / Editorial/Opinion

Do Not Ground A Nation’s Dreams

Do Not Ground A Nation’s Dreams

The nation mourns the death of seven brave men and women who went into space in an attempt to increase mankind’s knowledge of the universe in which we live. That they died in an aborted attempt to land their space shuttle vehicle does not diminish either their work or their dream. Each of them wanted to reach for the stars and they did, both in a very real sense and metaphorically as well. Several of them were military fighter pilots. Others were doctors and scientists. They all had this in common: They knew that they were getting into, they knew that a very real danger existed and they knew that they wanted more than anything else to go into space. There will be those who will use this third NASA disaster to argue that the manned space program be aborted as well. They will say that the manned program is too dangerous, that robots and drones will do the job as well. They will say that it is too expensive, that the money can better be spent on social programs here on Earth. They would be wrong. Manned space exploration has added many of today’s modern marvels to our society, things such as the MRI and Polaroid glasses. We should continue to fund the manned space program at levels that insure the safe exploration of space. As a nation, we can do no less.

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