Martian Skies

Collected by the Boston Globe, these photos of Martian skies are without peer. There is a romance to exploring the unexplored, about going somewhere new simply because that's what's next.

It reminds me of President Reagan's speech, quoting from the poem High Flight, later cribbed by The West Wing, on the night of the "Challenger" disaster. Scheduled to give his state of the union, he spoke in lieu from the West Wing:

For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.

And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

Slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.

Anyhow, beautiful pictures.