Dwight Watt Internet Article #91

#91 Apollo I, Challenger and Columbia Do we keep exploring space? 2/24/2003

#91 Apollo I, Challenger and Columbia Do we keep exploring space? (Watt Thoughts)

Once again we have lost lives in our continued manned exploration of space. This is the third time in almost 40 years that the United States has faced this difficult time. Each time the challenges have come forward that machines (robots) can explore space with no loss of life and that we ought to proceed that way .

Man has always set out to explore the unknown and there has always been a risk to the explorer there. Whatever the frontier we have not known about and wanted to explorer and learn about there has always been risk and loss of human lives. Although the risk is always there, we should do what we can to reduce the risk.

When Europeans began having a suspicion that the world was round and not flat there were explorers that took that risk and rode out to the edge of the earth to discover it was round. There were scientists that had already determined it is round, but the general public would not accept it was round until people they saw sail off the edge of the earth came back and told them it really was round. Should we have not continued those voyages and just used unmanned ships?

As people began settling America from the Old World there was a continuous moving frontier for hundreds of years with major fears. Our ancestors set out anyway to explore that territory and to claim land and to build there, never knowing want the future offered. Some of those were my ancestors who settled Kansas and never knew what the cold winter would bring, would the Indians (Native-Americans) be friendly or come and kill them trying to prevent the conquering of the new frontier.

Others said those setting out for new land as explorers and settlers were talking to big of risks and they stayed put. They have argued through the ages that the new areas are too risky.

My grandparents went to southern Arizona while there was a risk still there. A chance to help develop the railroad and to improve America. Was it risky? Yes. My grandmother told me how she went back to civilization in Kansas to have each of her children. However today we go through that same area in relative safety without the risks they encountered, but they broke the trails for us.

As the astronauts have gone to space and go to space they realizes they are the pioneers on the 21st century frontier. Just as with the previous explorers they realize there is a risk in being one of the first. However they are willing to take that risk to be one of those first.

Consider the current popular hoax in the world of whether we ever really went to the moon. If we had sent no humans to the moon, it would gain much credibility, as there would be no one to say the stories are wrong, they walked there. We have much more faith because we can hear and see for our selves witnesses of the moon's surface who can actually tell us they flew there walked on moon and flew back.

We need these explorers to continue to be humans. They give us a proof that machines and pictures can't. Reports from people who actually participated, and witnesses to it make the difference. We are who we are because someone has taken risks as an explorer and others have been witnesses. God himself decided that man best observed from men who had been part of a process and he sent his son Jesus to live and die with us so that we could better experience God. We can only aspire for higher things and continue our manned space exploration or we might as well all become narrow minded flat-earthers.

The men and women who died in Apollo I, Challenger and Columbia have not died in vain but to make humans better and to know our universe better. Not all of us are called to be explorers but we can all support those who choose that calling. Dwight

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