The Future and Space

By: Jason Simpson
By: Jason Simpson

Joe Coxwell's honors physics class at Northeast Lauderdale High School, like many others across the nation, engaged in a round table discussion about the impact of Saturday's Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

While NASA investigates what happened, students are already thinking about the future.

"I don't think they'll have the attitude of this is it for us in outer space," said Coxwell. "I think they expect us to give them a future that includes outer space because that is the final frontier."

Right now, NASA officials say they believe the cause of the shuttle's demise was due to damaged tiles on the left wing.

Travis Chisholm, a senior at Northeast, said he thinks more care should be used to inspect all aspects of the shuttle.

"As sad as it is, they're going to start taking a lot more responsibility and start checking everything, and take a lot better care of what it is that goes on," said Chisholm.

After a disaster of this magnitude, some have questioned whether or not space exploration is necessary.

Alex Curry said he believes it is a must, especially for the protection of our country.

"We can use it to our advantage," said Curry. "If we ignore the fact that there are other countries like Russia, using satellites in space, and they turn and use them against us, that's even more of an advantage they'd have against us."

As for the seven astronauts on board Columbia who died, they're hailed as heroes for their bravery.

Melissa Brents said this is because they were serving their country.

"Anybody who works for their country, that smart, and willing to risk their life to go into space, I think they're definitely heroes," said Brents.

For now, shuttle launches are on hold as the world of space exploration comes to grips with the tragedy.

Only time will truly tell how Columbia's fate will affect future ventures into that final frontier.

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