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Remembering Challenger

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On Jan. 28, 1986, the Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, due to booster engine failure.

Yes, I clearly remember where I was that day. I remember crossing the street wearing a wig (from my aunt's beauty salon) and walking towards my other aunt's hardware store in my small hometown. I was 12 years old. I sat there and my aunt showed me the newspaper. I couldn't understand the picture and the scorpion-shaped cloud that the Challenger left in the sky. But as a person who loves all things related with space exploration, I was confused and terrified.

At that young age all kinds of dreams crossed my mind. I thought that by now we would have flying cars to say the least. But almost 27 years later (in October 2012) what I saw on the streets of Los Angeles was a quite different scenario. I had the priviledge to have a close encounter with the Space Shuttle Endeavour. I was so excited I wanted to cry….couldn't believe my eyes. Saw that beauty twice moving in slow motion while being transported to the California Science Center. Endeavour was built as a replacement of the Challenger. There it was the reason of many of my dreams now just becoming a big piece at the California Science Center museum.

This is not exactly the scenario I had in mind for mankind. Our space program shut down…did we return to the moon? No. Did we send a human to Mars? No. I hope the ISS doesn't end up just becoming another piece of junk in space.

Now it's up to the private companies like Space X (for which I applied for a job a couple of times :D) to continue this mission. Hope they give good continuation to our dreams of space exploration. I don't care how many times humans have flown around the planet…nothing will ever be more significant than another human being setting foot on alien soil.

I was watching a show the other day on the National Geographic channel (don't remember the name). This guy was questioning the current state of evolution of those top secret flying machines. I haven't seen any new design since the 90's (F117-A). I know about the military drones….that doesn't count to me.

So what's the deal?

I refused to believe that nothing significant has happened after all these years. That the farther a human being has gone is to the ISS and back. That the most sofisticated flying machines on earth have a triangular shape design.

I refuse to believe.

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