Today I feel::Sad yet Hopeful

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2003-02-02 @ 1:47 p.m.
The Day After They fell from the Sky

I have watched every flight since I can remember being old enough to sit in front of the TV. It was all magic. Even so tragic as this. I remember the ones that went before them and pray for them all.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds, � and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of � wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, or ever eagle flew �

And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untresspassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

� John Gillespie Magee, Jr USA

He wrote this on the back of a letter to his parents.

three months later, on 11 December 1941 (and only three days after the US entered the war), Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., was killed. The Spitfire V he was flying, VZ-H, collided with an Oxford Trainer from Cranwell Airfield flown by one Ernest Aubrey. He was 19yrs old

Ronald Reagan, addressing NASA employees following the tragic loss of the Challenger 7 crew on STS-51L, used the poem in a well-remembered line:

"We shall never forget them nor the last time we saw them, as they prepared for their mission and waved good-bye and slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God." is for everybody. It's not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That's our new frontier out there, and it's everybody's business to know about space.

� Christa McAuliffe, December 6, 1985

Why our space program? Why, indeed, did we trouble to look past the next mountain? Our prime obligation to ourselves is to make the unknown known. We are on a journey to keep an appointment with whatever we are.

� Gene Roddenberry

The world looks marvelous from up here, so peaceful, so wonderful and so fragile. Everybody, all of us down there, not only in Israel, have to keep it clean and good.

� Israeli Air Force Col. Ilan Ramon, 29 January 2003

If anyone wants to read any of the mission quotes from other space flights they can be found here.

from reading them you get the feeling that no matter what waited for them, they would always be willing to try. to [have]slipped the surly bonds of Earth/And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings

I worry that today it all looks so easy in the movies that people will forget the sweat and blood(and if they{?}will just find the money somewhere) that it still is going to take to get us off this small fragile rock and into space.

And beyond, believe me, once it can be done we will go beyond. As a species I don't think we will ever stop exploring unless we are incappaple as in "blown ourselves back into dust" type of incappable. When we aren't killing each other we are looking over the the next hill and wondering where that stream leads and then into the sky.

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