Yet another fire engulfed eight lives on October 2, 2005 at 8:06 A.M. CST. This time, it was not a house or a Californian forest but NASA’s International Space Station, Freedom. Doug McJenkins, NASA spokesperson delivered an official statement confirming the incident:
Freedom, the world’s first international space station, was destroyed by fire Sunday, October 2, 2005, at 8:06 a.m. CST. The entire 8-person crew, including billionaire space tourist Greg Olson, was lost in the skies over Panama, with a concentration of wreckage in El Porvenir, Panama.
Designed under Reagan’s presidency and developed in 1989, Freedom was NASA’s plan to set a resting and observation post for astronauts, satellites and scientists. In the long run, Freedom would become a permanent haven for astronauts. However, Freedom was merged into the Russian Mir-2 and Japanese-European modules to become the International Space Station.
McJenkins pinpointed the cause which shattered Freedom, “The Zsezsda Service Module appears to have broken away from the falling ISS and landed on a school in Yavisa, Panama, just west of the Colombian border.” Despite expensive trials and tests, such events are inevitable in man-made devices. The aftermath mostly affects Panama as people are in eminent danger of harmful chemicals from fallen shuttle debris. Many, including children are being treated for burns and respiratory complications. The tragedy opened up gates for protestors like Skye Moonshine of Keep Humans Grounded to emphasize their positions on the role harmful aircrafts in the environment. The victims’ families request their diligence not be wasted in defeat and plans should prosper to continue their mission, despite the mourning.