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In Memory Of

The events concerning the Columbia made me think of 3 songs. One is Michael Longcor's "Pillar of Hell":

"I remember the day that the Challenger died.
I remember the shock, I remember I cried.
I remember the day that proud ship fell,
And the seven who rode on that pillar of hell.

The mean little men with their mean little minds.
With their schedules and costs, and their bloody bottom line.
Who contract and kick back, who buy and who sell.
And who will never ride on that pillar of hell.

..but you can't kill my dreams, you can't deny me the stars!
What gold cannot buy, what I'll never sell.
Is the chance to ride on that pillar of hell."

Certainly one thing we need is to bring back the magic, the adventure that the space program once had. The moon race didn't just have us beat the Russians there, it gave us advances in electronics, communications, meteorology, medicine, to name a few that would never have happened had we not taken it on. With the space race came the vicarious adventure we could all share in.
There's a few on the lunatic fringe that haven't given up on the adventure. I remember reading about a millionaire who's constructing his own rocket so he can be the first amateur astronaut into space.
The flight will be straight up 60+ miles and straight down. The fellow has the spirit to succeed where lesser people skulk away.

Columbia's crew was the spirit of adventure. Honor that spirit.


The Seven strode to the gate. When the Voice asked what did they do, they spoke.

"We have rode the Tail of Fire, that those who will follow us will know the path to follow..."

The Voice then asked, "Was this sacrifice worthwhile? You have left much behind! Those who know you, and those who will know of you, are saddened and distraught!"

The Seven spoke again. "We have seen farther, for we stood on the shoulders of the Three, then those of the Seven before us, and those of our former enemy. What we have done, we were compelled to do, as others before us. First, we wished to see beyond the cave. Then, beyond the grass. Then, beyond the waters. Then, beyond the sky. Then, beyond the world."

"At each place," the Seven said, "our companions fell, for the journey is always perilous, and we will always miss those who stood with us in our lives. But mark us well, for if we did not think this thing worth doing, for ourselves and our fellows, we would still be huddled in the dark, cold, alone, and ignorant."

The Voice threw open the gate. "Well spoken, Heroes of this Age. But what would you wish for those left to wonder at your sacrifice?" The Seven were then joined by the first Seven, then the Three, and then by those of the former enemy, and soon by all who had come before, and sacrificed. As One, they proclaimed to the Voice, "That despite the danger, the sacrifice, the limits of enduring, that there always Be those who risk Everything, so to see, with their Own eyes, what there is to see!"

"That is why there are Warriors," the Voice proclaimed. "So that no matter the challenge, great or small, it does not matter, one or many will always stand up, tighten the cords of their helmet, and do what must be done."

-HoD DavI', David Cerame
non mup tlhIngan wo' Duj

......and the two Shuttles, CHALLENGER and COLUMBIA, will orbit the Heavens side by side reaching out to touch the face of God.

..................lest we forget.......................

-Joe Manning(Klaad)

The Day the Sun Claimed Seven Of Its Own:
A Tribute To Columbia's Crew

From the Sun came our planetary home...our physical world..and with it our consciousness and our reality. From that very consciousness we know that we and our world are real.

The Sun...our Sky Father...gave us life..and light...the power to be. What the Sun gives birth to, the Sun reclaims. What the Sun creates, the Sun destroys. What the Sun breathes out it, at some moment in time, inhales back into itself.

The Sun gives life and maintains life, but the Sun also destroys life. This statement, however, is true only if we see destruction and death as negative, frightening, a true ending to life. To the enlightened, the Sun is not only viewed as the Great Destroyer, but also as the Great Creator. They are one and the same, and together they are the body and soul of Father..indeed, Grandfather..Sun.

Seven atoms in the universe..were inhaled by Father Sun today..breathed in by the Great Breath..taken into our Sky Father's bosom to rejoin with all their solar relations in the Solar Fire. Solar souls every Solar Souls on a mission in the realm of the Creative Power..Parent Space..the Duat..the Starry Realm of Osiris, He too a child of Ra..god of the Sun.

Rest well, my brothers and sisters. Be at peace in the arms of the Star Father. You will be remembered as photons of light, for that was what all of us on Earth witnessed of your passing...witnessed as lives alive one moment were gone from our world in the next. The very wonder of such an instant experience of death must be like burns like the very fire that consumed you in the minds of every human still alive on Earth. As you enter into the Fires of Creation, go shining.

- Albion

I would like to say that those who died over the weekend on board Columbia did so as heroes. As the very hreroes we emulate from time to time would have done...boldly going. Sure, we're Klingons, but what would the Klingons have been without Kirk and Humanity? Nothing. A forgotten idea. Meaningless drivel.

What I am trying to say here is that those we are to honor are a step in the path to the greater reaches of space. Where would we be if someone convinced he Wright brothers not to build their plane? Where would we be if someone convinced Roddenberry not to write? A whole lot duller.

As on the show "ENTERPRISE", the theme song says a lot.

"Its been a long road...
gettin' from there to here.
it been a long time,
but my time is finally here..."

Remember, we first started watching Star Trek for the Hope of the Future it showed. Don't make the dream die by denying that sometimes accidents happen and heroes die. The road is long and bumpy. And Columbia was one big bump. I am not trying to make light of the situation. Quite the opposite actually.

There is no denying that the shuttles NASA is using are probably outdated and a safer design is out there. When the time comes, and a new type of shuttle is christened, I would hope that we as Star Trek Fans would band together again and have NASA name it Enterprise. This time, one that actually gets into space often.

Those that died aboard Columbia, Challenger, the Gemini and Mercury Projects, and all those who died for us to make sure we had the freedom to look to the stars and dream should be remembered for the sacrifices they made so that a greater discovery could be found.

They did not die in vain. Israelis are mourning the loss of the FIRST astronaut...not thier last. Americans like us are mourning the loss of six of our finest...but not the last. As long as there are people like us the will always be a little boy or girl out there who one day will grow up to be someone like Sally Ride, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, or maybe A future Zefram Cochran, Johnathan Archer, Robert April, Christopher Pike, James Kirk, John Harriman, Rachel Garret, Jean-luc Picard, Benjamin Sisko, or Katherine Janeway. Boldly going where no one from this planet has gone before.


The Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.

In an age when space flight has come to seem almost routine, it is easy to overlook the dangers of travel by rocket, and the difficulties of navigating the fierce outer atmosphere of the Earth.

These astronauts knew the dangers, and they faced them willingly, knowing they had a high and noble purpose in life. Because of their courage and daring and idealism, we will miss them all the more.

The cause in which they died will continue. Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on.

In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."

The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home.

The Pledge

You will not have walked that road alone.
You will never walk it all in vain.
What you have given us will travel with us
When we take the star-washed journey to the skies.
Stars call our names beyond the veil of night.

Do they look dim, tonight? Why, not at all.
They shine the brighter in our eyes , for you
By your most honored selves, lend them your light.
Your gift shines brighter in the night than these
Great suns. Because of this, we make a solemn pledge.

With Godís eternal grace, we will go on.
You are the heart and spirit of our upward spiral.
None will delay our struggle to take wing.
Nor mar our joy when we achieve our dream,
For that day, you shall light our eyes with wonder,
And in our laughter, yours will be the joy.

Let us pray for the families & loved ones of these 7 people.

Shuttle Columbia STS-107 , Seven Astronauts Dead

Columbia is the oldest of NASA's shuttle fleet, first launched in 1981. It was on its 28th mission. The shuttle underwent an extensive, 17-month overhaul that began in September, 1999.It rejoined the shuttle fleet in February 2001 and flew its first mission after the upgrades in March 2002.

  • Shuttle commander Rick D. Husband
    Age 45, he was making his second trip into space. The U.S. Air Force colonel and mechanical engineer piloted a shuttle flight in 1999, which included the first docking with the international space station.

  • Pilot William C. McCool
    Age 40, he was a former test pilot on his first foray into space. The U.S. Navy commander and Naval Academy graduate was responsible for maneuvering the shuttle as part of several experiments.

  • Payload Commander Michael P. Anderson
    Age 42, he was on his second trip into space. He was on a 1998 shuttle flight that docked with the Russian space station Mir. The U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and physicist was responsible for the shuttle science mission.

  • Mission Specialist David M. Brown
    Age 46, he was an aviator and flight surgeon making his first flight into space. The U.S. Navy captain was working on many experiments, including numerous biological ones.

  • Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla
    Born in India, she earned an aerospace engineering doctorate from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She has logged in more than 375 hours in space and was the prime robotic arm operator on a shuttle flight in 1997.

  • Mission Specialist Laurel Clark
    Age 41, she was making her first flight into space. The U.S. Navy commander and flight surgeon was a medical school graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She was taking part in a variety of biological experiments.

  • Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon
    Age 47, he was the first Israeli astronaut. A colonel and former fighter pilot in the Israeli air force. He saw combat experience in the Yom Kippur War in 1973and the Lebanon War in 1982.

I have run into the wind
head up, and mane flying;
wonderful, not terrifying;
I have challenged the Earth
and all that I could see.
Remember Me.
Christina Sharik

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of; wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew ó
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
ó John Gillespie Magee, Jr

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