By: Patrap , 1:54 AM GMT on January 28, 2011
In Memoriam -- A Rededication to Space
Edwin Buzz Aldrin
Astronaut, Apollo 11 mission, Best Selling Author
Posted: January 28, 2011 02:07 PM
Statement on the 25th Anniversary of the Challenger Tragedy
As we reflect back upon the tragic loss of Challenger and her brave crew of heroes who were aboard that fateful day, I am reminded that they truly represented the best of us, as they climbed aloft on a plume of propellant gasses, reaching for the stars, to inspire us who were Earthbound. They represented the inspiration that is uniquely Space, and planned to share their experiences with the classrooms of future explorers who might one day follow their path and, perhaps, reach higher still -- because of this great mission. A mission so tragically ended was, in a moment, etched forever in our hearts, and memories...
As we grieved at this great loss, President Reagan recited lines from another American hero -- John Gillespie Magee Jr.'s memorable poem -- "High Flight", and reminded a grieving nation -- "they slipped the surly bounds of Earth" to "touch the face of God" -- words that inspired us, describing for us in poetry their great sacrifice, and their noble cause.
I am also reminded of three friends and heroes that we lost in the Apollo-1 fire -- particularly my friend, Ed White, fellow West Pointer, Track Team and Squadron-mate, as we boldly made our way to the Moon -- a journey we would complete in their honor with my colleagues, Neil and Mike, aboard Apollo 11 just two-and-a-half years after that tragic day; and, I think of the brave scientists and explorers of the Columbia tragedy, just eight years ago. They, too, are with us as we turn our attention to science that will one-day help make possible human exploration beyond the constraints of our precious Earth-Moon system -- when the inevitable journey of humankind to the surface of Mars, and into the Cosmos will, indeed, begin in earnest.
These were the tragic beginnings along this path, and we can never forget their passion for Space, their commitment and selfless dedication to it, the joy they experienced in the pursuit of it, and their heroic sacrifice, which took them from us.
It is for us to honor these great pioneers who were paving the way for our future, by continuing this great quest, that their hopes and dreams may be realized by those who were so inspired by their example. In the present uncertainties of the space program, a great transitional opportunity exists, and we must rise to the challenge in the spirit of those who have so bravely shown the way forward, and for those who will follow. A great nation deserves no less, and their memories compel us to continue their journey.
Posted by: Patrap, 7:54 PM CST on January 27, 2011
.."Roger ,,go at throttle up",
Thats the last released voice transcript from the Shuttle Challenger Commander before it happened.
The Shuttle Exploded in the Cold Cobalt Blue Florida Skies and we were changed forever,..again.
What happened was a tragedy of Human errors and bad decisions that ultimately claimed the Challenger crew that day.
Decisions made late in the night as they slept in their crew Quarters,,and a steady falling thermometer sealed their fate long before ignition.
A known design flaw in the Solid Rocket Boosters tang and flange joint was the mechanical fault along with Cold O-rings and the failed Human chain of command that claimed the Lives of these Heroic 7.
My Father came home just moments after the Explosion,,and we watched as millions did at the debris falling,,knowing all too well they were lost.
We thought back to Jan 1967,that took 3 Astronauts Lives as well.
We remember President Reagen's words that Night,
I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."
There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
The Crew of the Challenger Shuttle Mission in 1986
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