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July 4, 2006

Rocket's Red Glare!

I watched with my breathe held, fingers crossed, and tears in my eyes as STS-121, also known as Shuttle Discovery, was launched just a few minutes ago. I remember all to well the disasters of previous years, the Challenger when I was in high school and Columbia 8 years ago.

How appropriate that Discovery was launched on the 4th of July, a day set aside to celebrate our country and those who have sacrificed so much so that we can enjoy the freedoms that so many of us take for granted.

Getting a man into space has always been the benchmark of our technology- "We can get a man in space but we can't figure out how to get these damn toilets from clogging?!"- and considering all the problems we are facing these days it is truly an accomplishment on an epic level.

I was glad that my son could see a real live space ship being launched. When I was his age space ships were just something I saw on Bugs Bunny and the last rocket to the moon had been launched just mere months before my birth. NASA has a camera onboard Discovery and invites everyone to watch the astronauts go about thier business.

The feelings of wonder and excitement still surge through me as I watch a shuttle launch. I still cling to that childhood daydream of one day shooting through the cosmos at 5 miles per second, watching the Earth become a tiny blue speck on a sparkled black background.

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