This piece was inspired by a passage from former SR-71 pilot Major Brian Shul's book "Sled Driver". In it he describes a night flight in which he was astonished by the splendor of the Milky Way Galaxy overhead. The SR-71 Blackbird still remains one of the most incredible airplanes to ever fly. Designed to fly at speeds well in excess of 2,000 MPH and at altitudes over 80,000 feet, the Blackbird was untouchable. Almost 4,000 missiles were launched at her by hostile forces in an attempt to bring her down - none did. The Blackbird defeated every one.