Space: The Final Frontier

Like so many in my generation, I grew up watching the launch of NASA’s Space Shuttles. For years, we would gather in lunch rooms and classrooms to celebrate the triumph of American science ingenuity as we rocketed into space.

I remember watching in awe as those massive shuttles fired into space. I was memerized by the adventure and wonder of it all. Nothing seemed out of our reach even when we faced catestrophic consequences for our exploration.

To this day, I block off time in each of my classes to remember — even if just briefly — the sacrifice the men and women of our planet have made in order to help humanity slip “the surly bonds of earth.”

Today, NASA’s budget has been gutten and much of the important work about the foundations of our universe done through basic science research has been shipped overseas. America is no longer the leader in the race to understand our place in the universe or in the journey to join our cosmic family among the stars.

The wonderful things about science, though, is that it continues even when we don’t. Like a river flowing around rocks, the hunt for answers continues despite the agenda of those who would attempt to thwart it.

Today is one of those days when our ambition has won out against those who would attempt to stop science. SpaceX, a private company headed by Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal and Telsa Motors, launched the first commercial rocket transport to the International Space Station. If all goes well, a company spokesman said, Americans will once again be flying into outer space in less than four years.

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