36 years ago today we lost Challenger

crimsonaudio

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36 years ago today, STS-51-L ended in disaster.

Rest in peace, brave crew of the Challenger.

143729489_10158855873892604_7385377605881568161_n.jpg

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Smith, Scobee, McNair; (back row) Onizuka, McAuliffe, Jarvis, Resnik


"The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God.""
 
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crimsonaudio

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This was a rough one.

I grew up in Orlando and quite a few friends and fellow students had parents who worked at the Cape, so despite the cold, we still went outside to watch the launch, as we typically did. I'll never forget it. We ended up in the library watching a TV-on-a-cart until about lunchtime when they let school out early for the day.
 

selmaborntidefan

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I don't remember that day.....

Actually, I remember more than I want to recall.

I was at home. An influenza epidemic had knocked about 54% of the students in the county schools out of attending so they sent us home for the days of Jan 22-23-24 to "stop the spread." (I'm serious -not making any of this up).

On Monday, January 27, we went back to school with the big talk being about the Bears winning the Super Bowl the previous day (mostly about Walter Payton getting passed over for the Fridge). So I go to my Scout meeting that night and come home and Mom tells me, "No school tomorrow!" They shut it down for two more days.

Next morning I'm up and realize I haven't watched a shuttle launch since the 2nd one in November 1981. We had CNN on the huge back yard satellite dish, so I checked it out. Meanwhile, I had Bob Barker on the antennae TV and was playing the Intellivision game "Bomb Squad". After 2 more delays, I turned off the satellite and turned my teenage eyes on Holly Hallstrom (the red-head), who was not yet in a swimsuit.

Then during the break right before the showcase showdown, Dan Rather interrupts my day, and I roll my eyes figuring, "He's gonna say that launch with the teacher just happened and we're going live to it."

======================

What he showed me kept my attention the rest of the afternoon other than I ran to the phone to start calling all of my friends as well as my Dad.

It was my generation's "9/11" or "JFK" moment.

===================================

Fast forward to 2/1/03.

I'm on a Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans to Dallas (with a stop in Houston), and we start barreling down the runway. The woman in the seat next to me asks - with a heavy accent that sounded French to my "used to live in Europe" ears - "did you know the Space Shuttle exploded?" I looked at her puzzled and said, "Yeah, this week in 1986 it did." She said something like, "Ah okay," and we didn't speak the rest of the flight.

I got to Houston and everyone in the airport was gathered around the television - which was surreal. Almost as much as when my Dad picked me up at the airport and I told them and because they didn't have phone texting then nor the radio on, they had no idea.
 
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TexasBama

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I don't remember that day.....

Actually, I remember more than I want to recall.

I was at home. An influenza epidemic had knocked about 54% of the students in the county schools out of attending so they sent us home for the days of Jan 22-23-24 to "stop the spread." (I'm serious -not making any of this up).

On Monday, January 27, we went back to school with the big talk being about the Bears winning the Super Bowl the previous day (mostly about Walter Payton getting passed over for the Fridge). So I go to my Scout meeting that night and come home and Mom tells me, "No school tomorrow!" They shut it down for two more days.

Next morning I'm up and realize I haven't watched a shuttle launch since the 2nd one in November 1981. We had CNN on the huge back yard satellite dish, so I checked it out. Meanwhile, I had Bob Barker on the antennae TV and was playing the Intellivision game "Bomb Squad". After 2 more delays, I turned off the satellite and turned my teenage eyes on Holly Hallstrom (the red-head), who was not yet in a swimsuit.

Then during the break right before the showcase showdown, Dan Rather interrupts my day, and I roll my eyes figuring, "He's gonna say that launch with the teacher just happened and we're going live to it."

======================

What he showed me kept my attention the rest of the afternoon other than I ran to the phone to start calling all of my friends as well as my Dad.

It was my generation's "9/11" or "JFK" moment.

===================================

Fast forward to 2/1/03.

I'm on a Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans to Dallas (with a stop in Houston), and we start barreling down the runway. The woman in the seat next to me asks - with a heavy accent that sounded French to my "used to live in Europe" ears - "did you know the Space Shuttle exploded?" I looked at her puzzled and said, "Yeah, this week in 1986 it did." She said something like, "Ah okay," and we didn't speak the rest of the flight.

I got to Houston and everyone in the airport was gathered around the television - which was surreal. Almost as much as when my Dad picked me up at the airport and I told them and because they didn't have phone texting then nor the radio on, they had no idea.
I lived in Mobile in 1986 and was home sick from work with apparently the same crud. My mom called me, as she had watched the Challenger launch. I lived in Clear Lake in the '90s and made acquaintance with Onizuka's family.

In 2003, I was driving back to Houston that Saturday morning from a conference in Corpus Christi and heard the news on the radio. I remember the railroad track, which parallels US 77 from Corpus to Victoria, was stacked with tanks and Bradleys for many miles (they loaded out Ft. Bliss and Ft. Hood through the Port of CC for the Iraq invasion). A friend of mine in Tyler witnessed some of the debris after the breakup.