My interest in the U.S. space program goes all the way back to 1981 with the first launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia. I remember getting up early to watch the launch that April morning. I continued to follow the shuttle program, always have something to say during science class in school when a shuttle was in orbit. Did I mention this was during first grade?

I still remember where I was when I heard that Challenger had exploded in 1986 and that Columbia would not be coming home in 2003.

I've never been to the Kennedy Space Center. In fact I've only been to Florida once and that was the extreme northern part of the state.

For one of my computer classes at college, we had to do a research paper and presentation on computer applications. My proposal for the computers on board the shuttle and in Mission Control was approved. I wound up getting an A on the presentation and paper.

Twenty seven years after watching that first launch, I'm still fascinated. If I'm near a TV when a shuttle is due to launch or land, I'll try and watch it. My kids find it strange that daddy watches "funny looking airplanes" land on TV.

This page is dedicated in memory of the seventeen NASA astronauts who have given their lives exploring the final frontier

Apollo 1 Challenger (STS-51L) Columbia (STS-107)
Launch pad fire during prelaunch tests.
Friday, January 27, 1967
Vehicle exploded after launch.
Tuesday, January 28, 1986
Vehicle broke apart on re-entry.
Saturday, February 1, 2003
(L-R): Gus Grisson, Ed White, Roger Chaffee (Back Row L-R): Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, Judy Resnik
(Front Row L-R): Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair,
(Back Row L-R): David Brown, Laurel Clark, Michael Anderson, Ilan Ramon
(Front Row L-R): Rick Husband, Kalpana Chawla, William McCool