For the 30th Anniversary of Losing Challenger

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BBC Radio Shropshire asked me some questions about what it was like to be in the Space Program when Challenger exploded. It is not a memory I like to visit, but Challenger should be remembered. They plan to air one or two short clips during the morning drive-time show, probably between 7 and 9, as part of their remembrance of the space shuttle Challenger.

There are people who wonder what’s left for us to gain from going into outer space. Bear in mind, British explorer Henry Worsley died recently trying to cross Antarctica unaided. Not that long ago people wondered what good would come of exploring the polar regions. Now we know major shifts in climate become evident first and most dramatically there. Polar studies have turned out to be important, not just a matter of curiosity.

This type of thing is never easy, never safe. But those who dare to do such exploring do it on behalf of us all. It is not just to expand our knowledge. In ways we cannot foresee, it can—indeed, may turn out to be essential to—help our world survive.

On this anniversary of grief, wave at the International Space Station. That crew is up there for us.

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