Saturday, January 28, 2006

Challenger Anniversary

It is the 20th anniversary of the Challenger explosion and the deaths of seven astronauts, including teacher Christa McAuliffe.
I remember this well: I was sitting in my fourth grade classroom when the principal came on the speakers and made an announcement to the whole school about what had happened. Because there was a teacher on board, we had been paying a lot of attention to the mission. We were very excited to see a teacher going in to space, and that had made it very personal for us.
I just remember all of us being shocked when we heard the news and also very sad. I remember watching the video footage with awe.


El Jefe Maximo said...

I was just out of college, touring a glassworks in Venice, when somebody in our group said there was a rumour Challenger had blown up. We spent the next hour trying to find news -- located a paper in Italian finally.

I've spent most of my life in two space towns, Houston, and Huntsville, Alabama. I was five years old at the time of the Apollo 204 "Apollo 1" fire that killed three astronauts, including Edward White, the first American to walk in space. I was very young, but I still remember how that depressed Huntsville. I was very interested in the space program growing up, and followed it very closely. I suppose Challenger and Columbia were more dramatic, but for some reason, as the years roll on, I recall the Apollo disaster better.

justcarl said...

I remember, quite vividly, watching the launch of Challenger. When the explosion occured, people in the crowd were oohing and ahhing like it was some sort of fireworks show. I remember getting angry and asking why are they reacting this way? Can't they see the craft has exploded??? It was moments later when the news crew was informed by NASA that my worst fears had been realized.

By the way. My Dad was offered a job in Houston during the Apollo program. He declined because he didn't want to uproot the family, didn't think there was job security and, having a rural background, never cared for the big city of Houston. He was absolutely right about the job 'in'security.