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Challenger Memories

Started by Jen, January 29, 2009, 04:53:48 AM

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I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a little girl. My great grandpa told me I would be the first girl in space one day. I was disappointed when Sally Ride beat me to it, but at the same time I looked up to her as a hero. Then there was Krista Mcauliffe, the first teacher in space and I had another hero to add to my list. I was in fifth grade when Krista was preparing for her trip and watched with great interest.

I remember going to the school library with my classmates,  to watch the launch on television. Forever etched in my mind is "Challenger, go with throttle up." A few seconds later something horrible happened right before my eyes. I don't remember what happened the rest of the school day. All I remember is getting off the bus at that afternoon, seeing my mom and bursting into tears. That was 22 years ago and I still can not watch the clips of the explosion without getting emotional.

I remember Krista Mcauliffe's interviews. In one of them, she said her little girl cried when she left.  Sometimes I wonder how that girl (now a grown woman) is doing, and I hope she wasn't mad at her mother for going. 

Does anyone else remember where they were the day the Challenger "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God"?
Founding co-host of the Anomaly Podcast


For sure. I too was a hopeful young astronaut as a kid. I used to go to the Kennedy Space Center every spring when my Mom and I would visit my grandparents in central Florida. I watched STS-3 launch from about 50 miles from Pad 39-A. To this day a I can still hear the sound of that rocket rumbling through my body as it soared into space. One of my favorite books was "The Space Shuttle Operators Manuel". I tried to commit it all to memory. Space Shuttle posters and models adorned my bedroom.
I was 17 and a senior in high school in 1986. I was more preoccupied with SAT's and college applications, and girls at the time but shuttle launches were still a novelty then and we would always watch. They had a TV set up in the AV room of our school library covering the launch. I was in class at the time. When I walked out of class, kids in the hallway were talking about the shuttle exploding. I didn't believe them and went down to the library to see the news. The cloud of debris was still hanging in the air and there was a lot of confusion as to what happened and wether or not the astronauts might still be alive. As the coverage wore on and more people came to watch, it was clear that the tragedy was complete and that seven American hero's had died. Following the attempted assassination of Regan and the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, it was one of those moments in my early life I will never forget where a world stopped to watch.


My friend, Seeker, was spending the night on the couch. He knocked on my door to wake me so we could watch the launch as it happened. We did. To this day, the phrase "major malfunction" haunts me.


I was walking to my junior high school science classs when I heard the news.  My science teacher was great friends with Krista and he spent the whole hour of class just pacing back and forth.  He was selected as one of the final 10 to go up in space.  God be with you Krista!

Darth Gaos

A little late to the game but....

I was actually playing hookie that day.  Faking a stomach ache if I recall.  I went downstairs and my grandmother asked me if I knew "That thing that takes people into space?"   The Space Shuttle Nana?  "Yeah...it blew up"  I thought she was nuts and misinterpreted something she had seen but......I was glued to the TV the rest of the day morbidly yet utterly fascinated with what I was seeing.   I actually still have the newspaper from that day...the headline reads: WE MOURN 7 HEROES.

Let us also not forget that Feb 1 was the 6th anniversary of the Columbia disaster as well.  I know there is typically a small service here in town as Lt Col Michael Anderson was from the local area.
I think it was Socrates who spoke the immortal words:  I drank WHAT?