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Remembering Challenger's Crew 30 Years On


Justin

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Remembering the brave and brilliant crew of Space Shuttle Challenger mission STS 51-L this morning as they were lost 30 years ago today. They were Doctors, Scientists, Jet Pilots and Teachers. They were all brilliant accomplished minds and the world is worse for their loss. Here's to the crazy ones who push the human race forward.


 


Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Greg Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. 


 


 


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I remember this event well.  I was in sixth grade when the shuttle launched.  A TV was rolled in on a cart and connected to an outlet in the wall in our classroom.  We watched and when the shuttle exploded we all looked around confused as if we didn't know if it was a joke or not.  Our teacher assured us that what we just seen was not a joke.  He got up from his desk, turned off the TV, and walked out of the room for what seemed like hours.  You could hear the other teachers talking about what they had just witnessed on the TV as every classroom was given a TV to watch the event from K to 12th grade.  And then the announcement came over the intercom:

 

"All classes are dismissed for the day as we will take the time to honor the loss of the crew, and teacher, aboard NASA's space shuttle Challenger."  and then silence.  The "click" the intercom usually made came later than usual.

 

Parents were called, buses were loaded up, and I followed my sixth grade teacher to my bus as he was my bus driver as well.  You could see the tears in his eyes...and I shed a few as well as the explosion we just saw on TV kept playing back through my mind over and over again.  Once I got home Mom was surprise and asked what happened.  She didn't know as we didn't get good TV, if any channels, at home.  I told her what happened and she started to tear up.  It's hard to believe that it has been 30 years.

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The recorded clip of this explosion (as well as the 9/11 movies)....I simply can't watch them.  Seeing them live in 1986 was enough.  The real tragedy with the Challenger was that it should have been prevented.  Engineers knew of the flaws with the field joints of the booster rockets.  They forgot to put safety first. 

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I was really young, first grade, my teacher was actually an alternate, I learned of that several years later. The announcement came over the intercom and likewise an announcement that school was dismissed. I thought oh now I can watch cartoons the rest of the day, but learned that programming was replaced by the news cycle. I watched it for a bit and then thought I wonder if they had kids... That's when it hit me. I just turned it off and rested a bit. My dad later came home and we watched the president address together.

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