Remembering Columbia

Wow, it's been a year since the Columbia space shuttle broke up on re-entry. I remember waking up that Sunday morning, turning on the news and seeing the first reports happening live during coverage of what was supposed to be the landing. I remember seeing footage of the shuttle, a bright light streaking across the sky with smaller lights falling from it, and thinking "Gee, that doesn't look right". And then learning that it really wasn't right, hearing people saying that the shuttle had broken up. And then the days and months afterward, learning about the cause, about what happened and the reasons behind the tragedy. It seemed to me that many of the problems cited were very similar to what was supposed to have been learned from the Challenger accident.

Lots of people say the Space Shuttles are outdated and that something new is needed. But perhaps what's really needed is a change in the management structure and culture at NASA.