It is about T-3 hours before launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. While perusing the NASA site and other news sources about it, I became suddenly overcome with emotion.
Space exploration is inherently dangerous and our astronauts are heroes, period. The Challenger and Columbia tragedies were horrible, and it’s not the fear that something might happen to them that causes that emotion. I thought about what it means to return to space, the pride and honor that comes with that, and about the pride the astronauts and NASA staff must be feeling.
But I also thought about the fear that the astronauts and their families must be feeling. Hopefully they are able to put that in check. It will probably be a difficult two weeks for some.
Safe travels, dear friends. We’re proud of you. Come back to us safely.