While running on the treadmill at the gym yesterday I had the honor of watching live MSNBC coverage of the Space Shuttle Endeavor blasting off into orbit. I am not sure why, but ever since the early 1980's when NASA returned to space, I have been captivated by the take off and landing of these shuttles. I have always dreamed of being invited to the private viewing area in Florida to watch a launch (who knows, maybe someday), and will always admire the men and women who make our space program a reality.
About ten years ago I set my alarm for 1:00 AM and awoke to watch the shuttle fly over my house in Austin, Texas late one night as it returned home to Florida.....splitting the sky like some cosmic zipper as it entered the atmosphere. A bunch of neighbors gathered in the cul de sac to view this, and within minutes the television showed them safely on the ground four states away. Amazing.
Watching Endeavor begin its journey into space got me thinking about what a good example we can find in NASA. Sure, the space agency has had its share of problems, disasters, scandals and other bad press....and yet they continue forward with their goals of exploring the cosmos. There have been fires, explosions, crashes and other tragedies. A crazy astronaut in a diaper looking to take out her romantic rival took center stage this year, and yet they go forward with their missions.
The crews Columbia and Challenger will always be remembered, but they did not die in vain. Their love of exploration continues to move forward as man looks toward completing the space station, returning to The Moon, visiting Mars, and beyond.
As the shuttle climbed into orbit, dropping its booster rockets and external fuel tanks, I admired the decades of scientific precision that came together to bring this crew to the heavens. Every moment that came before lead them to this victory over gravity. They touched the sky.
In our lives we need to grow and learn from each endeavor that we undertake. Our mistakes should not derail us from our goals and dreams. Instead each experience, good or bad, makes up the platform for our launch to greatness.
Godspeed to the crew of the Endeavor. They are the best example of what people can accomplish when they never give up and when they keep reaching for the stars, taking on all challenges and tackling all endeavors.
Have A Great Day.