As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut — until Challenger, and then my mom said I couldn’t be an astronaut. So instead of being a space explorer, I turned into a space scholar. Instead of lionizing John Glenn, or Sally Ride, I looked to Carl Sagan as a role model.
Thing is, we still have room for both kinds of heroes in this country. We just need the willpower, and the budget priorities, to make it happen.