I can’t believe after all these years, amateur footage of the Challenger explosion has finally been found.
I’ve often wondered why the Challenger explosion hit us all so very hard. I was just a young teenager when it happened, so I never really thought it through too much. I wondered why so many men could die on the battle field, so many people die in car wrecks every day, yet when only 7 people died on the space shuttle that day, the whole world seemed to stop. Why?
Now that I’ve been reading the works of the brilliant author and philosopher Ayn Rand, I get it.
“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” —Ayn Rand
When the shuttle exploded, we not only lost the lives of 7 pioneers, but we lost 7 heroes. We felt like we lost a little bit of what is great in each of us. All the brains, all the time, all the resources that went into building that shuttle and getting it off the ground, gone in an instant.
Fortunately, it was a temporary set back in the history of mankind. We are now back in space and the shuttle program is nearly history. Newer and better vehicles are being designed to take not only astronauts into space, but everyday Americans who can afford the ticket price.
(I can’t help but wonder how much farther along we’d be already if the government weren’t so heavily involved.)
The space program seems to be the very embodiment of everything that’s great and heroic about mankind. It represents an extraordinary use of the human mind to produce and achieve. There is no other creature roaming the planet that is as wonderful as man and his rational mind.
The temporary set back of the Challenger explosion saddened us for a time, and rightfully so, but we picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and put our rational minds right back to work.