I wish I had something poignant to say about the Columbia shuttle being destroyed this weekend. I don't really. Fact is, I've given little thought to the shuttle program for the past several years. As one news report pointed out over the weekend, most Americans couldn't even name 1 of the 7 astronauts that died that day. Before Saturday, I'm sorry to say that I couldn't either.
NASA has done an excellent job at making spaceflight safe. The launches and returns have become so much like clockwork that we hardly pay them any attention anymore. If nothing else, I will do my best to honor the memories of the Columbia crew and pray for each flight in the future.
The STS-107 crew: Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Ilan Ramon. My deepest sympathies to their families -- we are in your debt.