Space shuttle ‘go for launch’ on July 13

After 2 1/2 two years of frustrating setbacks and delays, NASA officially set July 13 as the launch date Thursday for the first space shuttle flight since the Columbia tragedy. —Marcia DunnSpace shuttle ‘go for launch’ on July 13 (AP/My Way)

In my mind, the space shuttle is intimately connected with school. The Columbia tragedy happened the day after I finished my campus interview here at Seton Hill University. I was a high school senior when the Challenger broke apart. I remember our principal came over the loudspeaker to say that the Challenger blew up on the launch pad, which wasn’t accurate.

And I’ll never forget watching the first shuttle launch live on TV at school. I must have been in about fourth or fifth grade.

As the countdown reached zero, my “friend” Dean Weigh came up behind me and covered my eyes with his hands.

As it happens, I was geeky enough to know that the shuttle wouldn’t start moving for about five or six seconds after the clouds of steam blew, so I did end up seeing the launch. But it was the thought that counted.

Thanks, Dean, wherever you are.