Now have there been failures and tragedies at NASA? Yes including the tragic death of Christa McAuliffe, who was supposed to be the first teacher in space but those were tragedies shared by us all and were tragedies that motivated us to do better.
Where the video of the rocket exploding was spectacular I doubt it stays in the public conscious for more than a day or two as Orbital Science Corp collects on its insurance policy.
There is a bigger tragedy here than the explosion and that is when we outsource our valued public institutions it does us all a disservice by pushing us farther apart as a society. Those institutions don’t bind us together any longer and instead they divide us apart.
One could argue that the space program had lost some of its luster over the last few decades but nobody can argue how much it united the Country in the sixties and early seventies.
Public schools are the same. Arguably this is the institution that built the United States into the greatest country in the world. Now like with NASA there have been hiccups, things the system could have done better but like NASA it has seen unparalleled successes too.
So when we outsource our kids’ education to charter schools the majority of whom perform worse than public schools and many of which are little more than profit centers for their owners it diminishes and separates us all.