Space Shuttle Challenger

It was 30 years ago today when NASA had its first real shuttle tragedy.

When the first space shuttle went up, it was a great sense of accomplishment.  The USA had a space vehicle which we could reuse multiple times.  The future looked bright.

Then we were slapped in the face with reality.

Space travel is dangerous.  Accidents will happen.  We had become too careless in a universe which doesn’t forgive mistakes.

Sadly, the lesson learned was one of over-cautiousness.

In a way the tragedy is a microcosm of our society.  One which is unwilling to take risks anymore no matter the potential for reward.  We want redundant and triple redundant systems to make sure nothing could ever happen.

People toss around works like lawsuits if too much risk is involved.

When did we go from being pioneers and inventers to one unwilling to take risk?

These seven astronauts understood risk.  Its too bad their courage isn’t rewarded by continuing to undertake risks to further science, humanity and ourselves.