I would like to believe that the seven intrepid soles that gave their lives yesterday did not do so in vein but, I cannot stop the nagging feeling that today's astronauts are little more than keepers of the flame, awaiting the day when we will be able to undertake the great journeys that are the true 'next step' in space exploration. I believe that our space program has become a pale example of what it used to be. The very idea that we would undertake a mission of this scale and NOT prepare in any way for the type of incident that MAY have caused this tragedy.
I was totally floored when I heard the offiials say that the crew had NO TRAINING with respect to doing exterior repairs on their craft.
If this incident plays out the way I believe it will, I'm afraid that we will determine that this could've been avoided.
Until then, we MUST honor the memories of our fallen brothers and sisters.