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Space Shuttle Columbia

I am just posting this in memory of the astronauts that flew on the space shuttle.

Saturday, February 1, 2003


Rick Husband:

Kalpana Chawla

Ilan Ramon

William McCool:

Michael Anderson:

David Brown:

Laurel Clark:

Nat Ersoz
Saturday, February 1, 2003

My condolences to US and Israel from Russia.

Saturday, February 1, 2003

It is a very sad day. Our hearts go out to the families in India, Israel and the U.S.

Saturday, February 1, 2003

My prayers are with the famales.  Rest in peace Columbia. 

Saturday, February 1, 2003

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts.

Saturday, February 1, 2003

I made a GIF animation of weather radar showing the debris field drift. I posted it here: .

Troy King
Saturday, February 1, 2003

It's a very sad event but really only for their families.

However, many more sad and unjust things happen everyday throughout the world and I can't help feeling a little aggrieved by the politicians' reaction.

People are unfairly killed every single day and yet Bush or our lovely president Blair don't make a big fuss over it. Does this mean that the astronaut, who understood and accepted the risk and was sadly killed, is less important than Mrs Smith's only son who was knocked down and killed by a drunk driver?

There was an instance of mass-hysteria in the UK when Lady Diana was killed. By God it annoyed me. A couple of people who've led privileged lives die fairly painlessly and instantaneously with almost negligible suffering and the whole country goes stupid.

The Friday before it happened I read about some disturbances in North Africa (Algeria I think) where 200 women and children had been slaughtered. The children had been disembowelled in front of their mothers before they too had been killed. This is absolutely HORIFFIC. A two inch column in the middle of the newspaper is all this was worthy of.

Yes, Columbia blowing up is unfortunate, unpleasant and sad but it needs to be kept in perspective.

Monday, February 3, 2003

Four Marines were killed in a helicopter crash in Texas a couple of weeks ago yet the story was barely mentioned and it seemed like nobody cared.  It was just as tragic as the Columbia disaster if you ask me.

Brian B.
Monday, February 3, 2003

To the two simpletons who posted above.

The things you spoke of are horrific, and they happen every day. A billion dollar spacecraft carrying some of the brightest people in the world exploding in the upper atmosphere doesn't happen every day.

Furthermore, the implications of space travel and the resulting technology that the space program provides the entire world, such as CAT scans, means that any disaster in the US space program has far-reaching effects on the entire planet and it is quite newsworthy.

If the extended media coverage of this event surprises you, then you should consider getting more plugged into the way the real world works.

I Hate Whiners
Monday, February 3, 2003

"I Hate Whiners" is right.

My aunt is dying of cancer. This is tragic to her family and mine but the world will go on. It isn't news worthy - just tragic. It won't affect the rest of the world.

Major accidents like the shuttle have far reaching implications to the future of mankind. Those of us in 'civilized" countries have benefitted a lot from the technologies that come come out of our space program.

Also blaiming Bush and Blair for the way people are responding is nothing more than a simple minded assinine response by people who don't take the time to have a larger world view.

Ichabod Crane
Monday, February 3, 2003


You're not alone. Many people feel the same way. Media focuses on issues that are of interest to their owners and totally ignores other equally or more important issues.

Pretty sad state of affairs, I'd say.

Concerened citizen
Monday, February 3, 2003

Varying things affect the "newsworthiness" of a story, and as long as you realize that the purpose of the media is to produce what people want to read/see/hear.This is true of Holly/Bolly/Wood films, entertainment channels, Ophrah Whitney and Mills and Boone, and the fact that the news media occasionally deal with facts should not be allowed to cloud the issue.

Things that affect newsworthiness:

a) Where the dead come from: one dead Brit or American = 5 dead Frenchmen =  20 dead Russians = 100 dead Indians or Chinese. Strangely enough the figures even hold outside the US or UK, so the local Arab newspaper will carry a story about a small mishap in the States ahead of a major disaster in India, even though it has many, many more Indian readers than American ones.

b) How many die at the same time. 50 Brits dead in one train crash is greater news than the same number dead in separate car crashes on the same day (the latter in fact is hardly likely ever to make the news).

c) The novelty of the death. A space shuttle that blows up (even though its the second time round) is much greater news than a jet plane, let alone just walking across the road. Also being gunned down in the States is old hat, whereas it can still make the front pages in the UK.

d) How much people can identify with the victim. If you haven't known anything about a person before  it is hard to be involved in their death. On the other hand the death of Lady Di managed to cause a fortnight's mass hysteria in a sigfificant part of the UK's population.

All this of course does not change the fact that seven people have died in the prime of life, and their families have every right to our condolences.

Stephen Jones
Monday, February 3, 2003

We humans are certainly an oddball bunch of creatures, aren't we?

Observations made here about human nature are pretty much correct, as unpalatable as that may seem to some--"If it bleeds, it leads", or so the quip about what's "newsworthy" goes. Which is one reason I like the quote from the movie 'Contact' about how humans are remarkable because we're capable of such magnificent dreams, and such horrible nightmares. A strange but true dichotomy.

The space program, the people in it, and the fact that we (I mean the 'we' globally; I'm American, but look at our country's ethnic stew, the demographics of the shuttle crew, and the the Russian's efforts as well) keep going back, and keep trying to do more, go higher, farther, etc, is certainly an example of humanity's best and one of humanity's magnificent dreams.

Monday, February 3, 2003

What's the point of rating horrors?

I'd say the million people killed in Rwanda a couple of years ago (mostly hacked to death with machetes) got less airplay than the space shuttle crash.

Still, the shuttle crash is sad, and one who cannot feel for the victims is a hard person indeed.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

The shuttle crew died in a meaningful, heroic way -- returning from a mission to space.  Their death reflects their willingness to risk their lives to accomplish something for humanity.

So, I am not sad about their deaths -- in my mind, they had the great privilege of dying while completing a great mission.  It was their privilege to die heroically.

The families of the shuttle crew will always have this story to tell for generations to come, about how their loved one died doing something great.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.
  --- Joseph Stalin

Friday, February 7, 2003

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