Friday, January 27, 2017

Even Against Long Odds -- They "Dared Mighty Things." So Should We.

I choose to close this week with a rather somber space story -- it was in fact 50 years ago this afternoon, that these three brave young men were killed in NASA's first real flight related disaster. [Often the most will be required of those to whom the most has been granted -- in talents, and abilities.]

I write more to honor their bravery -- their spirit of adventure -- and less so, to lament their loss. In fact, Gus Grissom clearly would have wanted to be remembered this way. Sometimes the most daunting, dispiriting sacrifices lead to the most significant progress. Indeed, this winter's day in 1967 was was one of those times:

". . . .We are going to have failures.

There are going to be sacrifices made in the program;
we've been lucky so far. If we die, we want people to accept it.

We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything
happens to us it will not delay the program. . . .

The conquest of space is worth the risk of life. . . .

— Virgil 'Gus' Grissom

He uttered this particular bit, above -- shortly after John Glenn's historic Mercury Redstone Friendship 7 Earth orbits were successfully completed, and shortly before Gus's own near-Earth Mercury orbits. [Commander Glenn's orbits are presently featured in "Hidden Figures" -- as my regular readers well-know.]

Time magazine published Gus's quote the week after his death in the Apollo 1 capsule, in 1967. Now you know. Onward. Taking each sacrifice as small, by comparison. . . .


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