David M. Brown — American Astronaut born on April 16, 1959, died on February 01, 2003

David McDowell Brown was a United States Navy captain and a NASA astronaut. He died on his first spaceflight, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during orbital reentry into the Earth's atmosphere. Brown became an astronaut in 1996, but had not served on a space mission prior to the Columbia disaster... (wikipedia)

The views of the Earth are really beautiful. If you've ever seen a space IMAX movie, that's really what it looks like. I wish I'd had more time just to sit and look out the window with a map, but our science program kept us very busy in the lab most of the time.
I remember growing up thinking that astronauts and their job was the coolest thing you could possibly do... But I absolutely couldn't identify with the people who were astronauts. I thought they were movie stars.
Although as a boy I had dreamed about going into space, I had completely forgotten about that until one day I received a call from an astronaut, who suggested that I should join the program.
As a physician and as a pilot, I think it lets me be a pretty good translator having one foot in the medical world and one foot in the flying world. Sometimes when the medical guys come in and speak medical stuff to the pilots, the pilots really don't know what they're saying.