The amount of praise for Columbia's crewtroubles me. I believe they were good people who served their country well, andthat it is tragic they died as they did. There does need to be a "culturechange" in NASA (they need to be more safety-oriented and lessschedule-oriented), but I do not believe those astronauts were any more heroicthan any other astronaut who goes into space.
I base heroism on choice,not circumstance. The Columbia crew risked their lives for space exploration,just as all astronauts do. They just happened not to make it home. Although theseastronauts are heroes, we should turn our attention to appreciating the livingheroic astronauts, while remembering the dead.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.