Friday, January 28, 2011

Has it really been 25 years?

Twenty-five years. I suppose it must be, but January 28th 1986 is one of very few days I know exactly what television I watched. Well, not exactly; I don't remember whether Newsround was still John Craven's Newsround or not, but I do remember the lead story.

NASA had lost a Space Shuttle. The first Shuttle loss, and perhaps the one which cut the deepest. I can still clearly see the graceful, curving exhaust plume, the ragged ball of smoke, and the two trails of smoke climbing from it, and I remember knowing that this was Bad. It was a significant event; it could be credited with having made me a geek. It certainly made me interested in spaceflight.

Seven men and women died aboard Challenger. We should not forget Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Christa McAuliffe, and Gregory Jarvis.

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