SEVEN SCIENTISTS: AN EDGE OBSEQUY FOR THE ASTRONAUTS OF SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA

Nicholas Humphrey [2.9.03]
Topic:

Amidst all the self serving rhetoric, I think Edge should contribute its own obsequy. The people who died were scientists. Whatever else they may have believed in, their goal was to learn and to explore.

The Crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia


Rick D. Husband

William C. McCool

Michael P. Anderson

David M. Brown

Kalpana Chawla

Laurel Blair Salton Clark
 
Ilan Ramon
 

 

The death of the seven astronauts aboard the space shuttle Columbia has been represented by the media as a tragedy not just for the individuals but for American values—as if democracy, liberty and Christianity were part of the payload. Amidst all the self serving rhetoric, I think Edge should contribute its own obsequy. The people who died were scientists. Whatever else they may have believed in, their goal was to learn and to explore. Speaking at their press conference from space on Friday, each in turn talked of how he or she felt themselves a part of the trans human quest to know more and go further—and each emphasised how the view from space revealed the absurdity of narrow political or religious divisions. The scientific aims of the mission may not have been large, but the human spirit that flew with it was. I hope Edge will want to salute these fellow travellers on our own terms.