Skip to comments.Remembering the Challenger - 19 Years
Posted on 01/28/2005 5:17:59 PM PST by silverleafEdited on 01/28/2005 7:01:57 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
The 25th mission in the Space Shuttle program, flown by the Challenger, ended tragically with the loss of its seven crew members and destruction of the vehicle when it exploded shortly after launch.
Back row from left to right: Ellison Onizuka, mission specialist; Christa McAuliffe, payload specialist; Gregory Jarvis, payload specialist; and Judith Resnik, mission specialist.
Front row from left to right: Michael Smith, pilot; Francis Scobee, commander; and Ronald McNair, mission specialist.
I walked into the warehouse of my business and saw the sad look on a young worker's face and asked him what was wrong. He looked at me, with pain on his face, and said "The Challenger blew up". I was shocked, and realized that the warehouse workers were unusually quiet, with a sadness in the air. Since all of them were young (early twenties) at the time, I now realize that a mere 19 years ago the young people in our country cared deeply about what was going on. Today.......I wonder what the reactions would be among the public-school-indoctrinated young people. God bless the Challenger crew.
I remember. I was 16 years old and was watching it at school. Seeing it really put the hook in me. I find it deeply disturbing that so many 16 year olds were completely indifferent to the crash of Columbia in Feb. 2003.
Oh wow. That was just a good cry. Very moving tribute. Thanks
I'm ready for privatizing space exploration
Amen to that!
It's odd but true: all 3 US space program disasters happened roughly the same week. Feb 27, '67--3 astronauts killed in launch pad fire. Feb 28, '86--the Challenger.
Feb 1, '02 (IIRC)--the Columbia.
In the case of the Challenger: I was going into Boston for a job interview with the transit authority (didn't get).
Afterwards, I stopped for a sub in Kenmore Sq. and they had the coverage on TV. On the way back, I heard someone on the subway saying "I guess they won't be having that 'lesson in space'". It was an extremely cold day in Boston and much of the nation--and the extreme cold in
Fla. contributed to the 0-ring situation.
As for the Columbia, I remember turning on the TV on a Saturday morning, day before my birthday, and wanted to see what the weather would be like (snow was on the way).
On the channel that it happened to be on: "Space Shuttle
Apparently Disintegrates Over Texas". Two feelings at once:
disbelief, and a pain in the pit of my stomach...realizing instantly that yes, this was happening, and that the
astronauts had been killed.
That pic of the Lord's Prayer? I'll bet that couldn't be posted on Government property today.
I was sitting in a big circus tent in Germany participating in REFORGER.
I still have the newspapers of the day and one of the news magazines in my file cabinet.
I was living at home at Black Lake... I watched the launch live on that little dinky TV we had in the kitchen... and I called Dad at the office to tell him about it.
Calling Dad was also the first thing I did when the WTC was hit. We were still on the phone when the second tower was hit.
Calling Dad is just what I do when anything happens.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
I was in Orlando at Nuclear Power School. I had just finished a Thermodynamics exam and looked out the window and saw the plume with a strange "Y" at the top. "That's not supposed to look like that" I thought - talk about an understatement.
I was in Florida to view the launch.
It was delayed for several days due to the cold. While waiting, I started having nightmares about watching the launch from the beach and having it take off and turn around and crash next to us on the beach.
After two nights of these nightmares, I left.
It crashed the next day.
I just had cable TV installed, turned it on for the first time, and saw the explosion on the news.
Although I kept the cable for several years at that address, I have never again had cable installed. I don't want anything bad to happen...
I was in court doing an adoption for a wonderful woman of a special needs child when the baliff came in and told us. And, it's my father's birthday. He would have been 93 if he were alive today. He's been gone 13 years.
I owned my own business and was delivering some equipment to LaVerne University. I heard it on the radio and parked, then ran into my contact there, telling him to get a TV.
He pulled one out and we saw the replay -- then he notified the administration and he and I spent the next hour putting TVs into every public spot that could get reception or was hooked up to cable.
I'll never forget it.
Moon landing needs to be there too.
Thank you so much for that link.
Wow 19 years already, must make me old.
Nice new banner for the space ping BTW.
My dear husband had died suddenly a few weeks earlier and I could so identify with the grief of the astronauts' families.
I hope life has been kind to them in the years since.
Me, too. I close my eyes when I realize they're about to show it on TV.
I was a 2nd grader at St. Simons Elementary School on St. Simons Island, GA. Our teacher brought the TV in and turned it on and we watched the rest of the day. I went home and watched it over and over again, but today I cannot watch it.
However, it gave me insight to know what to do on September 11th. I was teaching Physical Science. The news got to me during my planning period, just seconds before the bell rang to start 2nd period. My students came in, and I told them that we had evidently just had a terrorist attack, and two planes had just hit the twin towers of the WTC. I told my students, "My parents remember where they were when JFK was shot. I can remember where I was when the Challenger disaster occurred. You will remember where you are, right now, for the rest of your life." We turned the TV on and watched.
Read the book, it's even better :)
It actually made me want to be an engineer...and look where I ended up.
Vintage Peggy Noonan.
With Columbia, I imagined knowing death was coming as you careened into the atmosphere as your craft broke up around you. I was one of those who, post launch as she orbited awaiting a fiery death, was fearful damage was underestimated by those NASA experts, engineers and scientists. When she was lost, I was shaken. That no indictments came, that even post Challenger, arrogance ruled is an incomprehensible horror.
I remember. I was in line at the chow hall at Griffiss AFB, NY when I heard the people in the line talking about it. Didn't believe it until I got to the end of the line and saw the cashier in tears.
Bullsh!t. They knew it was too cold to fly. They had scrubbed the launch a number of times already. If it had been warmer; there would've been no accident.
Political, media pressure was on because of the "teacher-in-space" stunt. Hubris, arrogance and disregard for human life is what caused Challenger's destruction and the death of the crew. That same human folly contributed to Columbia's loss as well. This time getting Israel's first astronaut up and back. There's a good chance if the enviros hadn't gotten the insulation changed, Columbia's loss might've been averted. That doesn't account for the idiocy of NASA dismissing the ice's impact damage, inability to mount a rescue, abort the launch, etc.
January 27, 1967
January 28, 1986
February 1, 2003
"I just had cable TV installed..."
Wasn't CNN the only "network" covering launches live anymore at that time?
Hopefully most of them reincarnated quickly and are studying to go back into space.
Could you add me to the list, please? Thanks!
I can't believe it's been 19 years. I remember I stayed home sick from school that day. My Dad was working for Ford Aerospace (now Lockheed Martin) and he would bring home embroidered patches for each space shuttle mission. I had an entire collection and would we would watch the launches together. I woke up late that day because I was sick with the flu & it was all over the news. It was so shocking & I remember being saddened as I looked at the patch and thought how brave they are to take on space missions.
It happened on my 15th birthday. Not that I needed that to remember.
I was on CQ duty at HHT 3/5 Cav, Ft. Lewis, WA. I was passing by an officer's office and a radio was on...said something about "lost contact with the Shuttle". It had that 'grave' sound, the tone of voice you hear in live disaster events.
I went into the day room. Almost all the junior officers were there, watching TV. They replayed the whole tragic thing. When the replay reached the point where the Shuttle exploded, one of the officers wondered if I was going to faint, because he mentioned I was "white as a sheet".
After a few minutes, the 1st Sgt. came in, wondering where the Hell I was. He didn't know, but soon found out. It was a sad time on watch that night.
19 years? Hard to believe it's been that long.
Not vintage Peggy Noonan- vintage Gillespie Magee, author of "High Flight"
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941
Ironic that John Denver's beautiful tune and words would be used for this tribute, and that John Denver himself (seen at the Air and Space Museum in a brief clip in this tribute) would later crash violently into the water and die.
Yes that's right. I had forgotten that. Ironic
I was actually only 4 years old when this occured. I am actually a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. The McNair Scholars program is a part of the TRIO programs, federally funded programs for first generation, low-income students in college. The McNair scholars program is actually for undergrads who plan on earning a Ph.D. It is a far Left leaning socialist program that does nothing but promote anti-Christian, anti-American research, philosophies and scholarly works. It is just another program that takes money from hard working Americans to give to poor and minority students to indoctrinate them with socialist and human secularist agendas that undermines the Christian heritage and free market system that has made our nation so great. Just another socialist program that uses poor and minority students as pawns for their social and political agenda. What a way to blaspheme the name and honor of a Great American hero that was Ronald E. McNair. We need to abolish the U.S. Dept. of Education, all social federally funded programs such as TRIO, and return Jesus Christ and our real Christian heritage and principles back into our education system and our nation. That would be a pretty American thing to do. Something that Ronald E. McNair would be proud of!
Yes, I do. I had worked a long week and decided to sleep in but the sonic boom of the breakup woke me up a few minutes after 8:00. My parents called me a about 10 minutes later with the news -- they had heard the boom, too, and dad had seen the trail in the sky when he went out to get the paper. Mom was crying when she called me. I'll never forget the day.
Dang, wrong space shuttle tragedy. I was at work at my first job out of college when the Challenger blew up. We were all stunned.
I was in High School. They made an announcement over the PA, and we had a moment of silent prayer. (It was a Catholic school)
There's a house in California that has a lot of newspaper-backed plaster patches in the sheetrock from that day.
>>January 27, 1967
January 28, 1986
February 1, 2003
Yes, thank you (couldn't remember year of the last one for sure). It is odd that all three tragedies occurred during the "same week" but of them, the cold weather associated with this time of year may have only caused one (the
Christa McAuliffe was from Concord, NH, IIRC, and there's
a planetarium in that city named in her honor.
I was home in bed sick with a terrible head cold that day. My wife brought our little extra TV into our bedroom so I could pass the time. She turned it on and the Challanger was just getting ready to lift off. We watched together and saw the explosion. We just sat there stunned. It was a sad day for a nation.
I was on my way to work, an dth eannoucer jumped and and said the, "The Space Shuttle just blew up." It was shocking. We I got to work someone had set up a a tv in the warehouse and we watched the replay over and over and all the coverage for a couple of hours and then got back to work.
One thing I remember clearly was at some point someone or somthing parachuted into the water off the Cape. I recall Dan Rather making a comment about not knowing what that was. Never did hear anything about it later, or to this day. Alawys wondered what that was about.
I stayed home sick from school that day. I was very excited because I was getting to see the launch live... I remember the adrenaline kicking in (I was a hyper kid) and then when it exploded I just kind of sat there with my mouth open...it was a complete shock. I remember just sitting there stunned quite unable to feel anything - my mom was crying for the both of us.
RIP Challenger crew, and God Bless their families.
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