I had a really bad feeling about this latest Shuttle Discovery mission- in fact I think a lot of people did. There was big coverage of the Shuttle launch and I think there was heightened interest for one reason only: morbid curiosity. Everyone remembers what happened last time.
Now some foam has been spotted falling off the Shuttle during liftoff and well, that's enough to ground the whole fleet. A similar problem caused the Shuttle Columbia disaster apparently, though this latest problem is not as severe and they expect the rest of the mission to proceed with no further problems. But still, this is a big setback for the space program. No more Shuttles into space now until they figure out their next move.
The situation is serious enough that there's concern these astronauts may have to head off for an extended hotel stay eating crummy space food at the International Space Station- until NASA sends them a cab ride home. At least it beats dying. Space travel- ain't it great.
Sadly I think the time has come for the people at NASA to rethink this whole Shuttle program. The program is important and a lot of important scientific work gets done, but they are going to have to try to figure out some safer way to go back and forth into space.