Sadness about Space Shuttle Columbia loss


Just to express the feeling of sadness about the loss of this flagship of technology and peaceful advancement of science. The relation between Columbia first flights and HP41 use in space touches an additional symbolic note for us, HP calculator fellows.



I'm sort of speechless about what I'm feeling.

Except maybe- so many people I've talked to today think we should pull back on the space program. I have this automatic reaction that the only sensible thing to do is increase the space program dramatically. soemthing like "they aren't going to beat us that easily"

I hope the astronauts' children (and mine) don't grow up in a world without manned space flight


A friend of mine from college worked on the original shuttle design as a failure statistics analyst. Of course he used HP machines... he had the first HP97 that I ever saw. They came up with an estimate that 1 in 35 shuttle flights would end in disaster (long since poltically spun up to today's estimate of 1 in 150 flights). Today's flight was number 88. With two disasters now, I think those original estimates were right on.


Does anyone know of a forum where the underlying issues are being debated?

While I don't want manned space flight curtailed, there has long been a debate over whether the Shuttle has been the best expenditure of NASA dollars. I think the functions of payload lift and crew flight should have been kept separated. I'm no expert, but tying the crew to payloads in a consequently too-big, tile-covered space plane seems to have resulted in a dangerous kludge.

For the long term, U.S. Manned Space Flight is not necessarily equivalent to the Space Shuttle, and some serious re-examination is in order.

This, of course, implies nothing derogatory about the astronauts or their commitment.


so many people I've talked to today think we should pull back on the space program.

Suggest to these people to go visit the Kennedy Space Center Museum and see for themselves how the space program has contributed to how they live there life today.

Even me a space junky who thought I knew alot about the space program and what has come out of it was very suprised at the volume of products/technology that have come out of the space program.

I went to Titusville to watch this launch. This was my second shuttle launch and I saw an Apollo launch as well. I hope to see more and I hope many generations will be able to see them to and benefit from the research and technology that will come from there research and experiments.

My heart and soul go out to the families that have been affected by this unfortunate event.



Columbia Launch:

God Bless them all.



Thank you for the photo, Chris. It brings home the promise and the loss better than mere words.

The other point that I want to raise: I've read so many places the sentiments of so many, that this tragedy must not be allowed to derail the space program. The future of humanity is Out There; even Konstantin Tsiolkovsky said, "Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever.".

And having witnessed the moon landings on B&W TV, I can only say we're overdue for a permanent presence somewhere else. Let's just not build any more space shuttles, but move on from that technology.


Its a sad day for NASA and families of the crew on board STS-107. I would like to send my prayers, condolences to the crew of the STS-107 which disintegrated above Teaxas, US.


I think the greatest respect we could give for our fallen astronauts, is to morn there loss. Then increase our efforts to the challenge these astronauts have lost there lives to. Giving up should not be a option. The lesson that will be learnt from this tragic loss, should not be wasted because of trepidation of what is not yet known. Respectfully Scotty.


To paraphrase what I said in another converstion:

The only fitting monument to fallen astronauts if one I can take my daighter to. 300 miles up.

I't sbeen an unfun day, and I hope the families and the NASA team get some peace.


A terrible tragedy,indeed. Columbia and HP-41s were entwined for quite a while, ans as a user I really feel sad.

On the other hand is remarkable that a shuttle with an envisioned life span of fifteen or so years kept soldierong on long after its supposed retirement from active duty. A tribute to American and NASA technology, I think.

My deepest and more sincere condolences for the lives that were lost and their families.

While we all feel sad for such a tragic loss, retirement is not an option. After finding out what really happened, we must keep going with space exploration. After all, our little machines are a spin-off of the technology developed to teke us to the space. And there is so much that still has to be done regarding a better understanding of what lies above our heads...

May the lives that were unfortunately lost yesterday keep us going forward. It's the best we can do to honor their memory.

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