Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, 1967. They were the Apollo 1 crew who died in a fire on the launchpad while making a pre-launch test. This was NASA's Image of the Day the other day, and it just really struck me. White was the first American to walk in space. Grissom was one of the Mercury Seven. Chaffee was new to the program. Three great, brave people. Their tragic death led to changes in the design and engineering. Back then we didn't just give up.
I've been thinking about this today because of the news that Iran came up with a cover for testing a missile launched a monkey into space. How much farther would we be if we hadn't pretty much stopped and decided going to the moon was enough and why bother going anymore at all?
It's also the anniversary of the Challenger disaster in 1986. Tragedies used to not derail us. We kept going forward in their spirit. When will we do it again?
"To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try." -- Roger Ebert