Winter is cruel on so many levels, but none, I think, more so than when she dashes skyward dreams. This week holds a lot of tragic history, giving the ultimate meaning to "ad astra per aspera", or, to the stars through hardship.
On 27 January, 1967, Apollo 1 caught fire on the launch pad, killing its crew of Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee.
As I mentioned the other day, on 28 January, 1986, the Challenger exploded a few seconds after launch, taking the lives of Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, and Judith Resnik.
And six years ago, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart on reentry, claiming the lives of Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, Ilan Ramon, Kalpana Chawla, David M. Brown and Laurel Clark.
To the stars, with prayer.