It is becoming apparent, as the days pass by, that NASA's prominence is waning. Gone are the glory years of the Space Race, where risks were taken and success was found, despite the heavy costs. Every time I listen to the news and their negative-to-a-fault discussion of this foam problem, that I am sickened at the entire problem. Similar to what 9-11 was to global politics, the Columbia accident was to the American awareness of the risks of space. While Challenger taught us as a nation not to take anything for granted, the Columbia accident has driven us to fear...to fear the unknown. However, this is not the best result for us as a nation. We must accept the inevitable and accept a certain amount of risk and do the best we can do to get what must be done actually done. Not because of some fanciful desire to fulfill someone's dream but to do what must be done, accepting danger and surmounting it. We mustn't step back from progress, but forward to the future. Simply because failure is not an option.
Godspeed to the Discovery crew in their important mission.