Space Ramblings

Three Dead on Road to the Stars

Just yesterday I had read and was reviewing Warren Ellis’ Orbiter, itself written about the disappearance of the space shuttle Venture and the dismantling of the space program and the return of mankind to the stars. Orbiter had been written up and around the time of the Columbia space shuttle disaster and now as I had finished reading Orbiter came word of the explosion at the Mojave Air and Space Port facility in California which killed three of Burt Rutan’s workers. Burt Rutan had been behind SpaceShipOne and the attempt privatization of space, making what happened all the more tragic.

Space travel is dangerous. We all know that. There’s a price to pay for the stars and it’s often a heavy one. Apollo, Challenge, Columbia were all lessons in the cost of space travel, the burden of pain that accompanies the release of joy. Space travel is not without its challenges and its costs.

On reading Orbiter and reviewing it, I had commented that the bloody opening of Orbiter which has the Venture coming down across a landing field filled with people in a bloody fiery catastrophe was gruesome and it is, yet it holds some truth. The things we celebrate as adventurous and noble, whether is it war or the hunt, the race for the north pole, the warrior and the explorer, all of these carry a heavy price leaving behind a trail of the wounded and the dead.

May the disaster at the Mojave Air and Space Port be only one step on a road back to the stars.

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