February 1st 2003: A loud thunder is heard throughout east Texas. Shortly after the bang, debris scattered from Dallas to Louisiana and from the Space Shuttle Columbia. I was at a friend’s sleepover and I heard the boom. The Columbia explosion was one of the most terrifying events that I heard about as a kid, second to 9/11. There have been 14 deaths in the 50 years and 500 people that America has sent to space. Therefore, about 3% of Americans sent to space die in an accident. That percentage is still a little bit high before I would jump onto a space shuttle.
The idea of traveling to space is exhilarating and terrifying, and I believe we may be close to being able to travel there for leisure! They currently have rough draft plans of a structure called the “Space Elevator” that will be built from a space station toward the earth to allow easier and cheaper access to space. If some of the richest people on earth would get some money together, they could pay to build it (I’m looking at you Bill Gates and Warren Buffett). Imagine star gazing with no atmosphere in the way, with nothing except space and millions of light years between you and the galaxy.