If nothing else, this has taught me that fellow human beings are so willing to risk their lives, and in some cases give their lives, to technological and human advancement. This tragic accident is an immense loss to the world.
I can still recall when I heard that STS-51L had ended with the Shuttle Challenger exploding 73 seconds after lift off. I remember feeling horrified and sick at the time. When I saw a documentary about the disaster and how it happened, it brought all those memories back to me.
This is yet another in a catalogue of sad days that will remain in my mind for a long, long time.
To those who lost their lives in STS-51L and today in STS-107, to all people who have lost or sacrificed their lives for human good, to all the innocent people who have died needlessly in war and famine and at the hands of others, to all victims of tragedy and disaster, I offer my thoughts and prayers to you, your families and loved ones.
Rest peacefully. Your services to the world will be remembered.