Engineers build for the future, not merely for the needs of men but for their dreams as well. Thus, inherently, the engineers work is a fearless optimism that life will go forward, and that the future is worth working for.
And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s take-off. I know it’s 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.
There’s a fundamental difference, if you look into the future, between a humanity that is a space-faring civilization, that’s out there exploring the stars, compared with one where we are forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction event.
All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.