I think I may have seen every launch of every manned space flight from 1963 through 1972 because we watched them in school. Our classrooms had these huge black & white TVs on tall metal stands. We’d gather around these TVs, gazing upward, counting with the launch sequence, and cheering as each rocket lifted majestically into the sky. We knew these flights were a big deal because we stopped class to watch them.
Howard Kurtz covers the generation gap among news consumers–baby boomers who grew up with space flight as a big deal and those of generations X and Y who grew up with space flight as routine.
Yes, we boomers feel the loss of Columbia and her crew acutely. We’ve been taught to do so. We have been taught a romantic notion of space exploration. So with each catastrophe my generation will wince in pain and spend hours in front of the television waiting for every little scrap of information about why it happened. And we’ll be concerned about what will be done in the future to make these flights safer.
And we will support the continued exploration of space precisely because it is a big deal to us.