A Kodak moment#039; By Sylvia Hughes 08/04/2005 I watched what I guess you would call a history making moment on television this morning (Wednesday). Discovery astronaut Steve Robinson space walked to

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2005

I watched what I guess you would call a history making moment on television this morning (Wednesday).

Discovery astronaut Steve Robinson space walked to the underbelly of the Space Shuttle to remove two ceramic covered fabric gap fillers that were sticking out from the tiles. NASA felt it could cause heat during re-entry. They said the fillers were not necessary for re-entry, but were to keep the tiles safe when the shuttle was launched.

Robinson was hooked to a robot that was controlled by a man in the shuttle. A camera was hooked to Robinson's helmet and the man controlling the robot also had a camera. You could watch live as he worked.

The task turned out to be very simple. He just simply gave a light tug and the filler came out. He said the tiles looked good and clean. He put the filler in a trash bag.

All in all it looked like something in a movie or cartoon about space from years ago. It was kind of hard to believe it was real. It was just amazing to watch. From the camera on his helmet you could see his hand up close and see him pull the filler out. As he did, he held it up so you could clearly see what he had taken out.

Then he asked permission to take pictures. When they told them they had good pictures, but he could take some if he wanted to, they said they thought he just wanted pictures for himself. Talk about a Kodak moment! Imagine showing those pictures to your children and grandchildren.

I have some issues with the space program. It seems to me they are not conscious enough of the safety of the astronauts. They were issues when they sent this one up, but decided to go ahead with it. That seems like a bad decision to me. It would be better to wait until everything that can be done for safety is done.

Many people think the space program is a waste of money while others are excited over it and would like to go themselves. As I watched, I thought – man has always wanted to explore new frontiers. They have always wanted to see what is beyond their world.

Just think about the pioneers who went west in our country and many years before that Columbus and the other explorers who searched for new worlds. I guess since all of this world seems to be "discovered" it was the only place left for those who have that yearning to explore.

Well, I find it interesting to watch. I don't really have an opinion about whether it is a good thing or a bad thing or whether it is a waste of money. The only thing I know for sure is that I really don't have the desire to go. I do have a desire to see new things and new places, but there are more places in this world that I haven't been than there are that I have been. I think I'll just hang around on our planet for a while. I'll wait for my home-going to travel in space.