Tomorrow's the big day, the day that the Space Shuttle returns to earth. I'm anxious to see how it all pans out; there's a giant gash on the belly of the shuttle and NASA has determined that it's not critical, and won't affect shuttle re-entry. I have to say that I'm holding my breath for those terrified astronauts.
I wonder how it will all work out.
The space shuttle seemed so amazing when I was learning about it's first flight as a kid, way back in 1981. I was impressed that it took off like a rocket and landed like a plane. I don't know why, but I thought it was very innovative. Even when the teacher in space thing ended horribly, I still didn't lose faith, thinking that it was a glitch, an unfortunate by product of technology and space advancement. I was so tuned into Star Wars and had a strong affinity for science fiction, I accepted that you need to make a few mistakes to learn from them. I thought the Challenger disaster was a short leap to personal space crafts, or seeing many Millennium Falcon's in the sky as commonplace.
My naivety and positive outlook polarized in 2003 when the Columbia disintegrated over Texas upon re-entry. I allowed adult cynicism to wash over me and surmised that NASA, like everything else in life, is sub-standard, doing the minimum to get the job faster and save a buck. I'm sure someone, somewhere knew that controls and all the checks and balances weren't computing, but for whatever reason--human error and the law of infinite reactions with regard to unforeseen cosmic forces--the situation (and shuttles) have deteriorated to something less then a desired outcome.
Good luck, crew of the Endeavor.