Remembering Challenger: 25 Years Ago Today

Twenty-five years ago today and only seconds into their mission, seven NASA astronauts perished in the greatest space disaster ever witnessed.

I remember that I was in either 2nd or 3rd grade. I was home sick from school to watch the shuttle take off. I also remember the minute that it exploded and the reactions on television around the world. I can’t believe that it’s been 25 years!

Where were you on January 28, 1986?

From CBS News:

Just 68 seconds into the flight, Scobee uttered the last words anyone would ever hear from the Challenger crew: “Go with throttle up.”

Bob Sieck, shuttle operations manager at Kennedy Space Center, said, “We knew as soon as we saw the fireball that the explosion that we didn’t have a chance of getting the crew back alive.”

The space shuttle — America’s symbol of technical prowess — was brought down because cold weather had caused rubber O ring seals in the rocket boosters to weaken and fail. Seven people lost their lives — as a nation looked on.

That evening, President Reagan consoled the country, saying, “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.'”

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One Comment on “Remembering Challenger: 25 Years Ago Today”

  1. Honeydog Says:

    Of all the Space Shuttles that have gone up and come down in my time, the Challenger disaster and the Walk on the Moon are really the only ones that stay in my memory. I can’t recall where I was when it happened, but I was in my 30’s and do remember well the horrific throw-back Shock, and the sick feeling in my stomach and horrible imaginary visions of the happy Crew inside being blown to bits and scattered in the Atmosphere. I remember seeing sheer Chaos and dead Silence happening at the same time all over the TV. I remember President Reagan that night, and how his words were so real and personal and intimate and deeply heartfelt— not like the usual well-written “professional” Speech— and how they touched me to my Core. I remember waiting on Pins and Needles with the rest of the World to hear the definitive conclusions of the Space Center and NASA as they stayed awake for days on end trying to determine the Cause. And then, I just remember feeling so Sad and Awful for those 7 young and totally-unaware and unexpecting individuals. It was a terrible terrible day.


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