Remembering Columbia

I was never a fan of the US but I am great follower of NASA. While marvelling at the pictures in Tom’s Astronomy Blog, I suddenly remembered the brutal destruction of Space Shuttle Columbia on its 28th mission. <Pardon me. I am currently on my uber nerd mode. And yes, I do watch and read loads and loads of such stuff. Astronomy included. Add to my list: neurobiology, biographies of scientists, actors, painters, writers (what else), world records, and the list goes one. >

Anyway, below is a picture of Space Shuttle Columbia

There’s a noticeable black smoke on the launch pad. In space missions, this is a bad sign. For Columbia, this moment paved the way to its destruction. The explosion caused a foam in the base of the rocket to ignite and create a hole the size of a football. The damage was not felt instantly. The rocket was able to launch successfully and orbit the earth for more than 300 days. The rocket had seven passengers. Two were women. They were tasked to performed experiments only possible in space. On the day that they were supposed to go back to Earth, the hole in the rocket caused an abnormality in the flight of the rocket upon entering the earth’s atmosphere. The rocket exploded and all its passengers were killed. 

Space missions are very dangerous yet astronauts are willing to place their life on the line. They do so for the love of their job, science and what they may contribute to human knowledge. I really admire them.  The space was once a place we thought was unconquerable. Yet, man was able to counteract the force exerted by gravity and propel vehicles to the outer space. For a Filipino, NASA is a very high ambition. But, who knows? I know a Filipina who works there. Someday, I wish to work in that place. Be part of a space mission team. If not, be an analyst of the vast spectrum that stars, galaxies, and nebula emit. Hmm. If ever this will just remain a dream, I still wish to be in a job that poses that same challenge as the space missions. I wish to wok for the love of science… whatever field it may be. 

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