Editorial: Look, up in the sky!

The pride of the Far Northeast, Chris Ferguson, is going back into space on Friday, and folks everywhere, from his hometown in Northeast Philly to Walla Walla, Wash., should wish commander Ferguson and his co-astronauts well on their 12-day mission in the great blue yonder.

Their spaceship, the Atlantis, will blast off from Cape Canaveral for NASA’s final space shuttle mission. Nothing could be finer than to have a local boy at the helm of this historic moment in time.

While the billions of dollars spent on exploring the outer limits and beyond could be better spent on other things back here in the great USA — ending poverty and pollution, improving the access to quality education and health care for legal residents, to name a few — Mr. Ferguson’s mission and the entire space program play a crucial role in American history. Without space exploration, for instance, there would be no space station and no communication satellites that have improved the quality of life on Earth.

On the distant horizon, the prospect of colonies on the moon and trips to Mars offers hints that a brave new world awaits our successors on Earth — and Chris Ferguson is helping to make it happen.

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Members of the jury that on Tuesday found Florida airhead Casey Anthony not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter probably took their cues from the juries that in 1995 found O.J. Simpson not guilty of murder and last year spared the worthless life of convicted cop killer Rasheed Scrugs. Nobody ever said justice is always just.

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