Sunday, February 02, 2003

I'm a little annoyed at myself because I recieved, and then tossed, an email from one of the lists I'm on about the safety warnings that NASA and the government have been ignoring. I heard the news about the shuttle on the radio at my local donut shop.
I have never been interested in the shuttle program. Except in its current use as part of the militarization of space -the director of NASA has said that all future shuttle missions will be 'dual use' civilian and military- my impression is it's more theater than science. I also assume, and judging by the talking heads who have been brought out I think it's safe to do so, that someone as smart as Richard Feynman won't be on the review panel this time. It is doubtful that anyone will be given the opportunity to perform a trick similar to his, which needed only an o-ring, a c-clamp and a glass of ice water.
Seven people are dead whom I did not know. One likes to think they knew the risks, but they may not have. I can't mourn their loss as much as understand why their families do. And I am cynical enough to know that the families will be trotted out to memorialize not just their children and sisters but the military program itself. Myself I can only think of the horror those children felt at the end of their lives.
And that makes me sad.

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