50 years ago yesterday America entered the space age when Explorer 1 successfully lifted off and became the first American satellite to orbit the Earth. The first in a series of flawless triumphs that resulted in man landing on the Moon. Today, February 1st marks the anniversary of the Columbia tragedy. On this day in 2003, Columbia failed to return safely taking the the lives of seven astronauts. From the humble beginnings of Explorer 1 to the Moon landings to launching the first reuseable spacecraft the space program in the United States and in Russia has acheived great triumphs and suffered tragic losses. History tells us that those that venture into uncharted waters take great risks no matter how well prepared they are. The continued exploration of space is neccessary and part of all of us for all us are born from the stars. Loss may again find us, but we must prevail and continue to move forward. The manned exploration of space is vital to the progress of the human race and ultimately to its survival.