Mr. Speaker, on Saturday morning Americans once again suffered a blow that shook the world.
The space shuttle Columbia , the oldest of all the shuttles, broke up in the sky, taking with it the lives of seven astronauts.
As I watched the terrible images on Saturday, I was remembering that in June 1982, in my work as a journalist, I had the privilege of watching Columbia's fourth launch from Cape Kennedy.
The launch and re-entry of a shuttle are crucial moments in a space mission which often seem to tread a fine line between fiction and reality.
In January 1986, when the Challenger exploded, all the wonder of the launch quickly turned to nightmare.
On behalf of all my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois, I offer my sincerest condolences to the families of those who perished and to the American, Israeli and Indian peoples.
The intrepid men and women who explore space have our greatest admiration and respect.