On this day in 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred. During the mission (STS-107), a small bit of foam had broken off and damaged the left wing. On re-entry, the wings broke off, causing the entire shuttle to break apart — killing all seven astronauts.
Funny thing, when I was a teen, I read, The World According to Garp. Garp was not exactly a character I connected with except in the sense that he was a writer and I kind of liked to write at that point in my life. But time goes on and Garp gets married and has children.
What does this have to do with the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster? I’m getting to it!
At one point, John Irving writes that if there was one thing that Garp cared about, it was keeping people safe. It seemed odd to me on two accounts. It didn’t seem to go along with the character that Irving had developed. And I really didn’t know what he was talking about.
As I got older, I understood. I worry about everyone. I don’t even have kids, but I worry. And this really is why I’m not so keen on the manned space program. I understand: these are pioneers. We’ve got to do this if we are going to make progress. But I’m still not over George Clooney dying in Gravity. And let’s face it, Sandra Bullock wouldn’t have survived either.
But I have great respect for brave people that push the limits of our existence. But they worry me. Constantly. And I hope they know that!