Press Release

SFWA Statement of Support for Space Exploration

By SpaceRef Editor
February 10, 2003
Filed under , ,

To offer condolences to the family and friends of the Columbia’s crew and
to encourage carrying on their spirit of exploration, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. and its members have released the
following statement of support.

Please forward this message to everyone you know who is
interested in continued space exploration and have them visit to express their support. (Or link to
it on web pages, mention in weblogs, postings, all of the above…)

“I pray for one last landing

On the globe that gave me birth;

Let me rest my eyes on the fleecy skies

And the cool, green hills of Earth.”

— Robert A. Heinlein;

“The Green Hills of Earth”

(Used by permission)

On the morning of Saturday, February 1st, 2003, seven astronauts aboard
the NASA space shuttle Columbia lost their lives as they were returning to
Earth from a sixteen-day mission dedicated to the quest for scientific
knowledge. They represented not only the United States of America,
Israel, and India, but indeed all of humanity — our greatest dreams,
our most noble aspirations.

The loss of the Columbia and its crew touches the lives of not just
Americans, Israelis, and Indians, but in fact everyone on Earth. The
exploration of space is one of the human race’s oldest ambitions,
one that has been reflected in our literature long before we developed
the technological capability to venture forth into the cosmos. We must
not allow this tragedy to bring an end to this magnificent journey,
but instead let their courageous example lead us upward and outward.

We the undersigned, members of the professional community of science
fiction and fantasy writers, express our most heartfelt sympathy to the
families and friends of the crew of the Columbia, and our support to
the men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
and the many contributing organizations worldwide, for their continuing
efforts to establish humankind as a spacefaring people.

— Written 2/2/2003 by Allen Steele & Friends


The President and the Board of Directors of the Science Fiction
and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., and several hundred
professional authors (as listed on the web site).

To Add Your Name in Support or View All Supporters and Their Comments, Visit:

SFWA is a writers’ organization for professional science fiction and
fantasy writers.

SpaceRef staff editor.