[Boyle, MSNBC] After 2 ½ years of public investigation and soul-searching, NASA will attempt to launch the Shuttle Discovery on Wednesday. I certainly pray for the safety of the crew, and I honestly expect that they will complete their mission and return safely, even though it is fairly obvious that many of the management reforms and safety upgrades mandated by investigators after the last tragedy have been met only by public relations pronouncements or excuses. It’s statistical—even with largely superficial changes in the fatally flawed bureaucracy and the essentially impossible process of maintaining one of history’s most complicated politico-technical compromises, they will probably be okay.
But I won’t be watching this mission or later ones. I have this gnawing certainty that at some point in the future, when I’ve stopped thinking about it, while I’m going about my ordinary business, someone will come into the room or call on the phone, and say, “Did you hear what happened to the Shuttle?”—as has happened twice before. Seven more human lives will be relegated to the posthumous category of heroes who would have wanted us to press on and explore, if they could just be here and that was what we were doing.
23 Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves;
they all love bribes and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
the widow’s case does not come before them.
24 Therefore the Lord, the LORD Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah, I will get relief from my foes and avenge myself on my enemies.