Getting people into space involves a lot of risks. From the explosive fuel needed to launch a rocket to the flecks of space dust that could poke a hole in an orbiting shuttle, astronauts are always prepared for the worst.
Wendy Lawrence, a retired astronaut and naval aviator living in Washington state, understood the risks of her job even when seven of her colleagues were killed reentering the Earth's atmosphere in 2003.
After the Columbia shuttle tragedy, Lawrence went right back to work, helping NASA get ready to launch again. Lawrence tells Sound Effect's Jennifer Wing about what it was like to go back into space after this tragic event and why space travel is rewarding to everyone here on planet Earth.
This story originally aired on Nov. 5, 2016