Eyes on the Stars
Twenty-seven years ago today [January 28, 2013], seven heroic explorers lost their lives in the name of science and discovery. When the space shuttle Challenger exploded after liftoff on January 28, 1986, their lives were tragically extinguished … but thankfully our quest for knowledge on Earth and beyond was not.
Ronald McNair was one of those seven astronauts. This is a beautiful animated tribute to his life. He grew up in a time when the color of his skin kept him from checking out a library book, much less dreaming of becoming an astronaut. But he persevered, and refused to wait for permission before setting out in search of what he wanted to discover, And discover he did.
That’s the beautiful thing about the space program. Sure, the experiments take place in orbit. But they inspire discovery on every square mile of the Earth they orbit. They remind us that anything is possible, with hard work and dedication, in the laboratory or the segregated library. Dr. Ron McNair tragically lost his life in pursuit of scientific progress, but that cultural progress lives on. It says that girl or boy or black or white or anywhere in between any two points on the spectrum of the human experience that you want to place your labels … you can do it. You define “it”.
Beyond the direct technological and economic benefits of NASA and all of the science they inspire, this shows how the desire to discover transcends the lab coat or the textbook and lands square in our own lap. Also, I think there’s something in my eye.
Don’t wait for permission. Eyes on the stars. Head to the future.
(via Bad Astronomy)