Saturday, August 23, 2014

Opfer Müssen Gebracht Werden!* -or- Excrement Occurs

(*Sacrifices must be made!)

Before the Wright brothers were much more than a gleam in their father's eye, Otto Lilienthal was experimenting with heavier than air flight using gliders of his own design. He became known as "the Glider King" during his career and served as an inspiration to the public and to scientists working on flying machines, including the aforementioned Wright brothers. He is also famous for the quote (his last words), "Opfer müssen gebracht werden!", the English translation roughly being "Sacrifices must be made." These were the last words he told to his brother while laying on his deathbed a day after he had crashed one of his gliders and sustained serious life-ending injuries. Otto understood, as I am sure the folks at SpaceX understand, that the road to successful flight will have bumps and the odd pothole which in the case of aviation often takes on the form of spectacular accidents involving falling from great heights, crushing metal, and lots of fire. Accidents are not show stoppers, but rather the price that one is sometimes obliged to pay to discover greater understanding and ultimately more safe flight.
I'm sorry it happened, but I wish them greater success in the years ahead.

The above explosion was brought to you by SpaceX -- no small animals nor government funding was harmed in this event.


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