God Speed Challenger STS-51-L

K'Tesh

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[FONT=&quot]31 years ago, today, the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded. It took years to verify it, but I now know that I watched it live.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I was between classes, and cutting through the school library, when I saw the launch on the TV. I was the only person in the library at the moment. It was pretty exciting to watch, right up until the moment the Challenger exploded. I think I was the only person on campus who knew what had just happened.[/FONT]
 

goose_in_co

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It was tomorrow, January 28th, 1986, 31 years ago. How can I remember that? It was the day that my son was born. I was stuck in the daddy waiting room, and all that was playing on the TV was the launch, over and over and over again. I must have seen the launch 30 or 40 times that day.
On a slightly more positive note, there were 6 kids born at that hospital that day.
 

rharshberger

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I was in my Junior year of high school sitting in English class, my teacher had been one of the semi-finalists for the teacher in space (each state had 2 finalists iirc). Prior to the launch she had a kit of stuff provided by NASA for the semi-finalists, it contained things like an actual shuttle ablative tile, I remember being amazed at how light it was for its size. We were all stunned as shortly after launch Challenger was destroyed, a the realization that it could have been one of our favorite teachers on it had things been a little different.
 

hornet driver

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Yea that was a sad day for sure. I was back in the country with the family watching the launch . The old man said come on over and sit down and watch, this might be the one the blows up. He was joking of course. He had just retired from Lockheed and was on the phone within a minute to other engineers. His theory--O Ring failure! He had been with the company since the forties and worked with M.T. on some projects including the Lockheed proposal for the shuttle(they had little faith in the project from a cost effective point of view). Not a lot of love lost between us but he knew his stuff.---H
 

Cabernut

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I was a bit younger, about 9. I was playing with legos with at my friends house when we saw it on TV. We knew right away that it blew up and spent the next hour reenacting what happened with lego shuttles without fully realizing people died. Wasn't long hefore our parents explained that it was a tragedy.

It wasn't until I was in my early twenties when I bought a 5 DVD set on the space program, and watched NASA's technical report on it that I realized that it didn't "blow up" but was ripped apart from going sideways at mach+. That, and some were alive and likely conscious until impact on the ocean.
 

K'Tesh

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It was tomorrow, January 28th, 1986, 31 years ago. How can I remember that? It was the day that my son was born. I was stuck in the daddy waiting room, and all that was playing on the TV was the launch, over and over and over again. I must have seen the launch 30 or 40 times that day.
On a slightly more positive note, there were 6 kids born at that hospital that day.

Goose, I'm in China. Right now it is January 28th here.
 

MarcoPolo

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I was at work delivering frozen food at Disneyland. Next stop was a sports bar in Anaheim. Sat with the bartender-they weren't even open yet-and watched the coverage for quite a while. RIP and Godspeed the crew.
 

markkoelsch

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I was a senior in high school. I was watching it live during a study hall. It was a shocking thing to witness.
 

dhbarr

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Walking home from school w/ a friend. His folks had cable, and the front door was open so passers-by could watch the updates.
 

mjennings

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it was a month before my 4th birthday and is one of my earliest memories. When I worked at KSC I worked with an engineer who was a technician at the time of the accident. He got called into the investigation because he had driven a delivery vehicle from one building to another that contained the O-rings.
 

Tim51

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Remember it very clearly. I was attending a local college and working evenings in a pub, still living at home with my parents at the time. I knew the launch was happening, but not every launch was broadcast live here in the UK by then. I remember turning on the TV for the evening news and seeing a unexpectedly silent crowd looking skyward, and no commentary. I said to my Mum then 'Something's gone wrong'. The camera then panned back to the column of smoke, and we saw it had that shocking awful unexpected shape, and the falling debris, which confirmed it all. I don't recall if it was actually being transmitted live or was just very recent (it was early evening here in the UK) but I think the lack of commentary meant it probably was. As a kid I'd been pretty optimistic about the future, in an Arthur C. Clarke/Gerard K. O'Neill kind of way. By '86 I'd already decided not to expect too much of the future, but even so, on a personal level, more of the dream died that day.

Seven very brave people. RIP.
 

Andy Greene

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A day I will never forget, Living in Tampa- we where able to watch shuttle launches from afar on a clear day. My wife and I where sitting in a spot on the Hillsborough River that I normally sat to watch launches. As the explosion occurred , even from Tampa, you knew something had gone horribly wrong. You could clearly see the boosters departing and the huge plume - I looked at my wife and in stereo we said "Oh my God " -
A few seconds later the local radio interrupted " Major Tom" (they always played that during launches) and made the announcement. I still sit in that spot from time to time- and I can still clearly remember that tragic day.

Andy
 

fyrwrxz

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Thanks for remembering this day. Pretty intense for personal reasons. We lost funny, talented, dedicated, and very accomplished Astronauts that day.
 
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