Monday, May 16, 2011
Today, Space Shuttle Endeavour was launched from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. While these things are always a little uncertain, it seemed from all indications to be a normal launch to the uninitiated viewer, but we all know there was something else there that made this one special.
At the helm of this mission is Commander Mark Kelly, an astronaut chosen many months ago to lead this final Endeavour mission. We also know Kelly as Mr. Gabrielle Giffords, and the Arizona Congresswoman was in attendance at the event just a little over four months after she suffered catastrophic wounds at the hands of a disturbed young man.
The wounds should have killed Giffords but excellent first aid care and quick first responders got the Congresswoman to help and saved her life. Her recovery has been nothing short of remarkable, and, to hear that she was not only able to watch the launch, but to be on site, is truly remarkable.
Two marvels. Modern science and rocket technology took a spacecraft from the ground into orbit today, and medical science saving the life of a Congresswoman wounded in a devastating way in a horrible attack. They intersect today with the same family affected by both events.
While space travel is always a gamble, we hope that Commander Kelly with the help of his crew guides the shuttle back safely to the ground after its mission. We also hope, much in the same way, that we see Congresswoman Giffords walking and talking in the Halls of Congress again soon.
It’s a pretty freaking amazing world when you stop and think about it.