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Saturday, February 01, 2003

Roll On, Columbia, Roll On

At first, I thought Glenn was joking. "Not a nice joke, Glenn," I thought. "But at least give me the punchline. Where's the punchline?" Then I read the first update. No punchline.

Niles and I had a brief argument about whether it was possible the shuttle was shot down. I was right.

The secretary from Niles's workplace called to tell him about it. She's calling up everyone in their department. Niles wonders if someone he works with is closely related to one of the astronauts. Many of his colleagues work with them, going over to instruct them in various topics.

A couple years ago a project Niles works with went up on the shuttle, and he was invited to go to Mission Control in Houston to watch the launch. Not as cool as being invited to go to the launch in Florida, but still exciting. They had an astronaut give them a briefing about the mission, and he's pretty sure it was Kalpana Chawla, who died today.

He didn't get to watch the launch, though, since it was scrubbed due to bad weather.

You know that the Challenger explosion (17 years and five days ago) was twenty years and one day after the Apollo 1. If I were superstitious, I'd say that this is a bad time of year for spacecraft.

When I wrote that last post, I sure didn't think the next one I wrote would be on the same subject.