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Remember the Great loss 28Jan1986 Challenger

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CharlaineC

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(DO NOT POST Any Conspiracy theory and other negative slander here this is strictly to honor those lost.)

In honor of the great loss our country and our space program had on this day in 1986. I ask that we all bow our heads upon reading this and say a blessing (whatever faith you follow) for the families of those lost. The info that I have provided comes from the nasa website. Photo info (Front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.


The Crew of the Challenger Shuttle Mission in 1986
________________________________________
The Challenger shuttle crew, of seven astronauts--including the specialties of pilot, aerospace engineers, and scientists-- died tragically in the explosion of their spacecraft during the launch of STS-51-L from the Kennedy Space Center about 11:40 a.m., EST, on January 28, 1986. The explosion occurred 73 seconds into the flight as a result of a leak in one of two Solid Rocket Boosters that ignited the main liquid fuel tank. The crewmembers of the Challenger represented a cross-section of the American population in terms of race, gender, geography, background, and religion. The explosion became one of the most significant events of the 1980s, as billions around the world saw the accident on television and empathized with any one of the several crewmembers killed.
The spacecraft commander was Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis W. Scobee. He was born on May 19, 1939, in Cle Elum, Washington, and graduated from the public high school in Auburn, Washington, in 1957. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, training as a reciprocating engine mechanic but longing to fly. He took night courses and in 1965 completed a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. This made it possible for Scobee to receive an officer's commission and enter the Air Force pilot training program. He received his pilot's wings in 1966 and began a series of flying assignments with the Air Force, including a combat tour in Vietnam. Scobee also married June Kent of San Antonio, Texas, and they had two children, Kathie R. and Richard W., in the early 1960s. He attended the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in 1972 and thereafter was involved in several test programs. As an Air Force test pilot Scobee flew more than 45 types of aircraft, logging more than 6,500 hours of flight time.
In 1978 Scobee entered NASA's astronaut corps and was the pilot of STS-41-C, the fifth orbital flight of the Challenger spacecraft, launching from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 6, 1984. During this seven-day mission the crew successfully retrieved and repaired the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite and returned it to orbit. This was an enormously important mission, because it demonstrated the capability that NASA had long said existed with the Space Shuttle to repair satellites in orbit.

ShuttleChalleng_crew_portrait.jpg
 
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CharlaineC

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The pilot for the fatal 1986 Challenger mission was Michael J. Smith, born on April 30, 1945 in Beaufort, North Carolina. At the time of the Challenger accident a commander in the U.S. Navy, Smith had been educated at the U.S. Naval Academy, class of 1967, and received an M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1968. From there he underwent aviator training at Kingsville, Texas, and received his wings in May 1969. After a tour as an instructor at the Navy's Advanced Jet Training Command between 1969 and 1971, Smith flew A- 6 "Intruders" from the USS Kitty Hawk in Southeast Asia. Later he worked as a test pilot for the Navy, flying 28 different types of aircraft and logging more than 4,300 hours of flying time. Smith was selected as a NASA astronaut in May 1980, and a year later, after completing further training, he received an assignment as a Space Shuttle pilot, the position he occupied aboard Challenger. This mission was his first space flight.
Judith A. Resnik was one of three mission specialists on Challenger. Born on April 5, 1949 at Akron, Ohio, the daughter of Dr. Marvin Resnik, a respected Akron optometrist, and Sarah Resnik. Brought up in the Jewish religion, Resnik was educated in public schools before attending Carnegie-Mellon University, where she received a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1970, and the University of Maryland, where she took at Ph.D. in the same field in 1977. Resnik worked in a variety of professional positions with the RCA corporation in the early 1970s and as a staff fellow with the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, between 1974 and 1977.
Selected as a NASA astronaut in January 1978, the first cadre containing women, Resnik underwent the training program for Shuttle mission specialists during the next year. Thereafter, she filled a number of positions within NASA at the Johnson Space Center, working on aspects of the Shuttle program. Resnik became the second American woman in orbit during the maiden flight of Discovery, STS-41-D, between August 30 and September 5, 1984. During this mission she helped to deploy three satellites into orbit; she was also involved in biomedical research during the mission. Afterward, she began intensive training for the STS-51- L mission on which she was killed. Ronald E. McNair was the second of three mission specialists aboard Challenger. Born on October 21, 1950 in Lake City, South Carolina, McNair was the son of Carl C. McNair, Sr., and Pearl M. McNair. He achieved early success in the segregated public schools he attended as both a student and an athlete. Valedictorian of his high school class, he attended North Carolina A&T State University where in 1971 he received a B.S. degree in physics. He went on to study physics at MIT, where he specialized in quantum electronics and laser technology, completing his Ph.D. in 1977. As a student he performed some of the earliest work on chemical HF/DF and high pressure CO lasers, publishing pathbreaking scientific papers on the subject.
McNair was also a physical fitness advocate and pursued athletic training from an early age. He was a leader in track and football at his high school. He also became a black belt in Karate, and while in graduate school began offering classes at St. Paul's AME Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He also participated in several Karate tournaments, taking more than 30 trophies in these competitions. While involved in these activities McNair met and married Cheryl B. Moore of Brooklyn, New York, and they later had two children. After completing his Ph.D. he began working as a physicist at the Optical Physics Department of Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California, and conducted research on electro-optic laser modulation for satellite-to-satellite space communications.
 

CharlaineC

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This research led McNair into close contact with the space program for the first time, and when the opportunity presented itself he applied for astronaut training. In January 1978 NASA selected him to enter the astronaut cadre, one of the first three Black Americans selected. McNair became the second Black American in space between Febrary 3 and 11, 1984, by flying on the Challenger Shuttle mission STS-41-B. During this mission McNair operated the maneuverable arm built by Canada used to move payloads in space. The 1986 mission on which he was killed was his second Shuttle flight.
Ellison S. Onizuka, was the last of the three mission specialists. He had been born in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, on June 24, 1946, of Japanese-American parents. He attended the University of Colorado, receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering in June and December 1969, respectively. While at the university he married Lorna Leido Yoshida of Hawaii, and the couple eventually had two children. He also participated in the Air Force R.O.T.C. program, leading to a commission in January 1970. Onizuka served on active duty with the Air Force until January 1978 when he was selected as a NASA astronaut. With the Air Force in the early 1970s he was an aerospace flight test engineer at the Sacramento Air Logistics Center. After July 1975 he was assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as squadron flight test officer and later as chief of the engineering support section.
When Onizuka was selected for the astronaut corps he entered into a one year training program and then became eligible for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flights. He worked on orbiter test and checkout teams and launch support crews at the Kennedy Space Center for the first two Shuttle missions. Since he was an Air Force officer on detached duty with NASA, Onizuka was a logical choice to serve on the first dedicated Department of Defense classified mission. He was a mission specialist on STS-51-C, taking place 24-27 Jan. 1985 on the Discovery orbiter. The Challenger flight was his second Shuttle mission.
The last two members of the Challenger crew were not officially Federal government employees. Gregory B. Jarvis, a payload specialist, worked for the Hughes Aircraft Corp.'s Space and Communications Group in Los Angeles, California, and had been made available for the Challenger flight by his company. Jarvis had been born on August 24, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan. He had been educated at the State University of New York at Buffalo, receiving a B.S. in electrical engineering (1967); at Northeastern University, Boston, where he received an M.S. degree in the same field (1969); and at West Coast University, Los Angeles, where he completed coursework for an M.S. in management science (1973). Jarvis began work at Hughes in 1973 and served in a variety of technical positions until 1984 when he was accepted into the astronaut program under Hughes' sponsorship after competing against 600 other Hughes employees for the opportunity. Jarvis' duties on the Challenger flight had revolved around gathering new information on the design of liquid-fueled rockets.
The last member of the crew was Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to fly in space. Selected from among more than 11,000 applicants from the education profession for entrance into the astronaut ranks, McAuliffe had been born on September 2, 1948, the oldest child of Edward and Grace Corrigan. Her father was at that time completing his sophomore year at Boston College, but not long thereafter he took a job as an assistant comptroller in a Boston department store and the family moved to the Boston suburb of Framingham.
 

CharlaineC

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As a youth she registered excitement over the Apollo moon landing program, and wrote years later on her astronaut application form that "I watched the Space Age being born and I would like to participate."
McAuliffe attended Framingham State College in her hometown, graduating in 1970. A few weeks later she married her longstanding boyfriend, Steven McAuliffe, and they moved to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area so Steven could attend Georgetown Law School. She took a job teaching in the secondary schools, specializing in American history and social studies. They stayed in the Washington area for the next eight years, she teaching and completing an M.A. from Bowie State University, in Maryland. They moved to Concord, New Hampshire, in 1978 when Steven accepted a job as an assistant to the state attorney general. Christa took a teaching post at Concord High School in 1982, and in 1984 learned about NASA's efforts to locate an educator to fly on the Shuttle. The intent was to find a gifted teacher who could communicate with students from space.
NASA selected McAuliffe for this position in the summer of 1984 and in the fall she took a year-long leave of absence from teaching, during which time NASA would pay her salary, and trained for an early 1986 Shuttle mission. She had an immediate rapport with the media, and the teacher in space program received tremendous popular attention as a result. It is in part because of the excitement over McAuliffe's presence on the Challenger that the accident had such a significant impact on the nation.
 

AKPilot

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I can't believe how time flies!

We've talked about this in years past, but I still remember it quite clearly. I was an airman stationed at Sunnyvale AFS in CA. I was the crypto-communications specialist for 11 space shuttle missions and various spy satellites. Once launched, I'd call up to the shuttle (via link) and have the astronauts bring their crypto up. We couldn't load it ahead of time, because of the g-forces on lift off.

Anyhow, was into work waiting for the launch and prepping the crypto, when we lost the track and heard the screaming on the AF/NASA internal links. First it was, "We have a problem." Second was, "What's going on?" Third was the, "Oh my . . .".

Col. Onizuka was our RO for a while, so a few months after the accident it was proposed that we rename the base in his honor. So now my former base is called Onizuka AFS, CA: Onizuka AFS, Sunnyvale, CA
 

Boosterdude

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Also important not to forget about the crew of Apollo 1/AS-204, Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee.

Without there sacrifice, the goal of reaching the moon by the end of the decade would have been unattainable. Actually, we might not have ever landed on the moon.
 

FatBoy

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I got to spend some time this last October with Grace Corrigan (Christa's mother). We even helped her build and fly her very first rocket at the October Sky Festival..... a FlisKits Thing-a-ma-Jig that Grace wrote "For You, Christa" on the body tube. Grace has been a living extension of Christa's work and always adds her tagline: "You Touch the Future" to her autographs. Grace is truly an amazing person (and she got a huge kick out of building and flying her Thing-a-ma-Jig).
 
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MarkM

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I often forget the date, but will never forget the day.

I was a senior in high school and in the lunch line. One student rushed in exclaiming the Shuttle just exploded. I thought he was lying...he had to be. How could this have happened?

There was a special TV/game room in the cafeteria reserved exclusively for Seniors. I went in immediately after getting my food. I was stunned! Shocked! With no class the next period, I stayed glued to that TV for about 2 hours. I was in haze the rest of day still in disbelief that a tragedy such as this could have occurred.

Never forget their sacrifice!
 

Mr Peabody

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I was a senior in high school and in the lunch line. One student rushed in exclaiming the Shuttle just exploded. I thought he was lying...he had to be. How could this have happened?
I was working in Colorado then, and that was my first thought when someone told me. Couldn't possibly be true. I thought they were joking.
 
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privateer

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MarkM, I too was a senior in high school when the Challenger accident occured. I was in computer lab (with our TRS-80's!) when a girl came in the room and said the space shuttle blew up. A buddy and I exchanged glances and I said "you mean it took off" knowing that it was launching that day and it always produces alot of smoke and fire. No, she insisted, it blew up. Still convinced she misunderstood the launch, we went across the hall to the library where they had a TV. I have never forgotten that day.
 

BAR_Daddy

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I will never forget the day.

I was a carpenter and we were refurbishing the office area in the old Vanderbuilts store in Wamego. I was nailing down underlayment wnen one of the ladies in the office told us and had us come in and look at the TV she had in her office (no kidding, a TV in her office).

I was truly shocked. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the construction adhesive and the popcorn that someone had been making in the microwave.

Let us never forget them or their families.
 

Mikus

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I will never forget the day.
Me neither.

I was working in the CT dept at a local hospital when the ultrasound tech (who had a TV in her room to entertain patients during procedures) stuck her head in the door and said, "the shuttle just blew up". Before any of us could say anything or even react to the news, she then turned and took off.

After a couple of what seemed like minutes of us looking at each other I told my colleagues, "Hmm that seems like a very strange thing to say" and went to investigate.

Very sad, wow did NASA grow up a bunch of kids in a hurry on that day. :(

R.I.P. STS-51-L
 

luke strawwalker

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Yeah, I was a freshman in high school in Jan 86. I had skipped school that day to get the fields worked up and ready for planting in about a month. I remember that day well, as it was clear and beautiful... I even remember where in the field I was, just south of my parent's house. I remember it was SO nice after having warmed up after the cold snap we had a few days before (the same one that pushed down into Florida and dropped temperatures into the 20's, which seriously contributed to the tragedy). I was working in the field and Dad had got home from work about 10 am (night shift) and had gone down to Grandma's to eat lunch. He came down in the pickup and parked on the side of the road to pick me up, and so I parked the tractor on the field end and got in the truck. He told me the shuttle blew up, and it was on TV. I didn't believe it... I figured that he saw the huge smoke plume when the SRB's seperate and their sep motors fire to push them away and he thought it blew up, since he didn't have any particular interest in the space program. We got to Grandma's a couple minutes later and sure enough, it was all over the TV... I popped in a tape in my new (first) VCR and hit 'record' and left it on all day... I still have that tape in the closet somewhere... I watched dumbfounded for about an hour or so, and then had to get back to work in the field...

Sad, sad day... OL JR
 

Night Tripper

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Also important not to forget about the crew of Apollo 1/AS-204, Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee.

Without there sacrifice, the goal of reaching the moon by the end of the decade would have been unattainable. Actually, we might not have ever landed on the moon.
Exactly. That sad anniversary was yesterday. Grissom piloted the Liberty Bell 7 during the Mercury program. White was the first American to walk in space, during Gemini 4. Chaffee would have been making his first space flight on the 21st of the following month.

 

Delta-IV

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I was working for Garrett Tubine Engine Company in Phoenix at the time, we had just returned from an early morning experimental flight in our A26 Invader with the test engine mounted on the nose. I was about to head to lunch when my wife called told me about it....needless to say we all forgot to do our post-flight debrief.

Here is where the Challenger is buried..

s Grave.jpg
 
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dwmzmm

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I was a restaurant general manager at the time, running my store that morning when my mother called me from the school she was teaching to tell
me the Shuttle "crashed." My first impression was they must have aborted
during ascent and somehow crashed during an attempt to land on the runway.
A couple of hours later, my brother-in-law called and gave me more precise
details of what was shown on TV, then the picture became more clear. I had
to work all day that day (open - close) and once I got home I immediately tuned in to CNN and tape recorded about 8 - 12 hours of coverage, which I
still have somewhere. Never forgot that day......
 

Pantherjon

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Man where has the time gone? I remember that day like it was yesterday and not 23 years ago!..I was in the Army at the time, stationed at Ft Bliss, TX..We were preparing our company to head out for a field exercise when the senior Warrant Officer made a snide comment of 'Well, We Need Another Seven Astronauts'.. I was WHAT?:confused:..Then one of the enlisted said that the space shuttle had just blown up..I thought, NO WAY..Kind of shrugged it off and went about my duties..When I got back to the billets a couple days later I made a point to watch the news and they replayed the video, I was crushed..Felt like someone had hit me in the gut with a baseball bat..

Let their memories live on..Seven brave souls who braved the unknown to reach out and touch the face of God..

President Reagan's address to the nation after the disaster..
 
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Snowflake

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There are few events that will make people literally stop in their tracks. Challenger was one for me, as I was working in a telemarketing shop in Omaha. When the accident occurred, all the phone lines went dead due to lack of calls, not technology. This lasted for about 10 minutes as people absorbed what had really happened. The sky out side seemed unusually quiet as well. Unfortunately I have been reminded of this type of quietness 2 more times since. 09/11 was the next time, and again on February 1, 2003 with Columbia.

I have found it to be one of those types of silences outside that I can't quite describe but I know what it sounds like when I hear it. Or don't hear it as the case may be. For me it's not a case of trying to remember, it was just so life changing that I can't forget the struggles we have been through and sacrifices that were mad for everyone's future.
 

Pantherjon

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That's worse than snide. It's tasteless, disrespectful and uncalled for.
I thought so then and still do now..If it offends anyone I can edit it out of my post..Was just relating everything that really 'stuck' in my memory of that day..
 

MarkM

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I thought so then and still do now..If it offends anyone I can edit it out of my post..Was just relating everything that really 'stuck' in my memory of that day..
Pantherjohn,
I wasn't berating you for posting what someone else said. And I don't think there's harm in keeping it. I do find it 'interesting' that a superior in a branch of the military would make a comment such as this to those under him. Just shows that not everyone took this disaster seriously enough.
 

jetra2

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I was still only a thought in God's head when it happened, but I wanted to comment here...

For those of you that still have tapes of the events, let me encourage you to dig those out and get them transferred to DVD! Those tapes will not last forever!

Thanks all,
Jason
 

Peartree

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Pantherjohn,
I wasn't berating you for posting what someone else said. And I don't think there's harm in keeping it. I do find it 'interesting' that a superior in a branch of the military would make a comment such as this to those under him. Just shows that not everyone took this disaster seriously enough.
I spend a lot of time around people who are going through grief and crisis. My suspicion is that like many I have heard, this WO was overcome by the events of the day and simply lacked words and was desperately seeking to say something. Like him, many people at funerals with families who are going through a crisis or the loss of a loved one, people try to express in words, things for which there ARE no words.

Often, the results are unfortunate.

The things people say are intended to be supportive and comforting but often appear to be shockingly insensitive and stupid.

This guy might of been an idiot, but there might be reason to give him the benefit of the doubt.

As a side note, I've seen friendships damaged because of this sort of thing.

Its okay to not say anything at a funeral. Give your friends a hug. Hold their hand. If you need to say something say, "I'm sorry." Then shut up.
 

mjennings

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Challenger is my first memory, it was a month before my 4th birthday, I don't know if it was all the news time or what but it is the earliest thing I remember. Right now I can turn and see the pads 39A and 39B from my office window, it set me on the path, to be an engineer.

These are two of the pictures I took at SLC 34 last Feb. SLC 34 is the site of the Apollo 1 fire as you can see there isn't much left, the structure has been torn down and the concrete parts abandoned in place. I did get a shot of a nearly full moon rising between the legs of the remaining launch pad structure, (hard to see shrunk down this far though).

DSC01229a.JPG


DSC01238a.JPG
 

tazzdevl1

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I will never forget the day.

I was a carpenter and we were refurbishing the office area in the old Vanderbuilts store in Wamego. I was nailing down underlayment wnen one of the ladies in the office told us and had us come in and look at the TV she had in her office (no kidding, a TV in her office).

I was truly shocked. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the construction adhesive and the popcorn that someone had been making in the microwave.

Let us never forget them or their families.
Isn't it strange how a smell or sound can bring back such vivid memories?

I was working as an auto mechanic when Challenger exploded. At the time I was told about it, I was working on a car that had very rusty parts. I had just heated a nut/bolt on a tie-rod of that car with a torch to loosen it. It was glowing red hot and smelled hot when my buddy stuck his head under the front bumper and said "they just blew up the shuttle." I asked who. he said "terrorists". Of course, I later found out what really happened. But, everytime I catch the smell of red hot metal I immediately think of the Challenger Crew.

I had the opportunity to visit CCAFS back in November '07. Part of the tour was an old minuteman silo where the wreckage of Challenger is buried. I have pictures of it. I will post them later when I get home. Sadly, at the time I was there, the area was not marked. No signs or plaques or any mention of what was under that enormous concrete slab. There was talk of several groups trying to get permission to place a marker there. Hopefully, someone will be able to do so.

God bless the families of the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia. God bless the families and crews of future space vehicles and our servicemen and women who serve this country.

Cliff
 
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cornyl

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I was assembling some infant care equipment in a closed wing under construction at Temple Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. It was quiet and nobody was around. I suddenly heard the sound of high heels running. A secretary came running down the hall and asked me if " could you get a better picture on my TV I think the space shuttle just crashed. I grabbed some test leads from my tool box and ran to her office. I saw that dreaded Y of the boosters in free flight as soon as i hooked up the clips. I think I said "I can't believe it" !
 

tazzdevl1

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Here is a photo of the silo that now holds the wreckage of Challenger. Sad to see only a bare concrete slab there. The original cap for the silo was behind me when I took this pic.

Cliff

100_1605.jpg
 

thomcat00

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I, too, was a HS senior when the Challenger was lost. First I learned of it was from overhearing someone already joking about the event. I ran over to the A/V room by the school library where all 4 tvs were tuned to different news channels showing the replays of the explosion. Someone there was swift enough to record the footage on the 3/4 VTR.

Years later, just before the 15th anniversary, I remember being part of a survey about the event (and news in general) and being surprised by my rather vivid recall of my experiences & emotions that day. The interviewer was amazed I could recall all the crew names and a remarkable amount of detail. I honestly hadn't thought about it in years.

I was barely more than a few dozen cells when the crew of Apollo 1 died.

My hat off to their families and in their memory.
 
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