The Columbia accident impacted me quite a bit. I recall always fearing and wondering when the second accident would occur. Oddly enough, it happened at a time when I wasn't paying much attention to the Shuttle Program. So it was a big shock when someone brought it to my attention around 10 am that Saturday morning. I didn't even know it was in space.
My interest in the shuttle was rekindled. I never missed another flight, but as time went on I realized the program was another big government boondoggle. When retirement finally came in 2011, I was more than ready for it. Shortly thereafter I wrote "The Free Market Goes to Outer Space- Much Better than NASA" for my Striking at the Root blog, to explain why free markets are the answer even in space travel.
Just reading over it now, I'm thinking it could use some revisions. However, it gets the main points across and with today's unfortunate anniversary now is a good time to highlight it.