Farewell, Columbia

by Feb 4, 20030 comments

But why?” Korolev shook his head, deeply confused. “Why have you come?”

“We told you. To live here. We can enlarge this thing, maybe build more. They said we’d never make it […] It was our once chance to get out here on our own. Who’d want to live out here for the sake of some government, some army brass, a bunch of pen pushers? You have to want a frontier, want it in your bones, right?”

Korolev smiled. Andy ginned back. “We grabbed those power cables and just pulled ourselves straight up. And when you get to the top, well man, you either make that big jump or else you rot there.” His voice rose, “And you don’t look back, no sir! We’ve made that jump, and we’re here to stay!”

Red Star, Winter Orbit William Gibson

I don’t know what to say. It’s three days later and I’m still sad. I told my mom it’s not a happy thing to see the little bit of Star Trek that actually does exist in the world suffer a tragedy like this.But they knew that something like that or any other of a thousand mishaps could have happened yet they still went.

“If you can’t take a little bloody nose–maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It’s not safe out here. I’ts wondrous–with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross–but it’s not for the timid.”

Star Trek: The Next Generation

I guess that’s the best thing I can say about this crew and anyone else who goes into space, really. It’s a characteristic of the cause; they know the risks and they go anyway.

Godspeed, guys.

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