Fear and Flying - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Fear and Flying - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com - O bje c t 1 Log In...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: O bje c t 1 Log In Register Now Help TimesPeople Home Page Today's Paper Video Most Popular Times Topics Search All NYTimes.com O bje c t 2 O bje c t 4 Opinion World U.S. N.Y. / Region Business Technology Science Health Sports Opinion Editorials Columnists Contributors Letters The Public Editor Global Opinion Arts Style Travel Jobs Real Estate Autos <img height="1" width="1" border="0" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/imp.gif? client=ca-nytimes_display_html&event=noscript" /> Advertise on NYTimes.com Fear and Flying By Buzz Aldrin Published: February 3, 2003 Sign In to E-Mail Print WASHINGTON Every tragedy in space gives rise to a handful of usual questions, and a big one is, Are astronauts ever scared? The answer, of course, is that every mission is different, every program is different, every person is different. For me, there is no question that space travel gave rise to an anxiety, a heightened sense of alertness. But I think most of my colleagues would agree that this has less to do with concern for your safety than with anxiety that your performance will not measure up to expectations. The big worry is that you are on the verge of messing up, and that might lead to a problem, endangering the mission and the crew. There is hardly anything productive about worry or fear when you can't do anything about the circumstances. Why be anxious until something happens? I think about taking off in a fighter plane -- you get the aircraft in the air and raise the gear, and if at that moment the engine goes out, you're in big trouble. Yet it wouldn't be much fun to be a fighter pilot if you were filled with fear every time you went out on the runway. I don't think anybody -- astronauts or otherwise -- is born with some kind of right stuff. It's something you work into. You don't learn it, but you adjust to it in your own way. Or else you wash out of flight school and get a job as a journalist. There is now a lot of discussion about the ''blackout period,'' those seconds when there's normally no communication with the ground -- and, in Columbia's case, that's when everything went wrong aboard the craft. I can understand why it may seem worrisome to be out of touch with the ground, but in fact that may be craft....
View Full Document

Page1 / 9

Fear and Flying - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com - O bje c t 1 Log In...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online