Thursday, January 28, 2016

Recalling The Space Shuttle Challenger

Thirty years ago today at 11:39 a.m., the space shuttle Challenger lifted off from Cape Canaveral.  
Via
Seventy three seconds later, it exploded killing all on board, including Christa McAuliffe, a teacher selected for the mission who was supposed to teach lessons from space.

Across the nation, adults and kids who had tuned in to view the launch on live television, watched in disbelief as the tragedy unfolded before their very eyes.

I was one of those kids.

I was at my grandmother's house that day, home from school because it was a snow day. Had it not been a snow day, I probably wouldn't have witnessed the event, for I don't recall any plans that would've allowed us to view the launch during school.    

I remember sitting on my grandmother's living room floor in front of her console TV watching the historic event.  Having never seen a shuttle launch before, when the explosion occurred I asked my grandmother if that was normal. She said, "I don't think so."  To this day, this is the image that I remember so vividly: 

My mother was 12 years old when President Kennedy was assassinated.  She remembers exactly where she was and what she was doing when she first learned of his death.  I was 12 years old when the Challenger exploded on that fateful day, thirty years ago.  For Gen Xers like myself, the Challenger disaster was to us what the Kennedy assassination was to the baby boomers, an event that stole a little piece of our innocence and exemplified how unpredictable and fragile life can be.

Do you remember the Challenger explosion?  Do you remember where you were when you first learned of the disaster?

As always, thanks for stopping by!


8 comments:

  1. I wasn't born when this disaster happened, but I can only imagine the shock and heartbreak for those witnessing it. The first big disaster I really remember is 9/11, and I remember being told about that by my grandad when walking home from school.

    Hollie | hollieshighlights.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. It was quite a shocking moment, for it took awhile for it to register that something had gone terribly wrong. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I was a baby when this happened, but I remember my mom telling me how she saw it because she was home on maternity leave with me. There was a school in my district that was named after Christa McAuliffe because it had a science focus.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  3. i wasn't born when this happened - i don't even think i knew about it, excuse my ignorance. i can't imagine how terrifying it was to see this though. i remember where i was during other disasters or scary things though, like 9/11, bali bombings, thailand tsunamis.. i wonder why we remember these things so vividly.

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    1. I think we recall those things so vividly because they are so out of the ordinary, so unimaginable, that it's almost as if time freezes during the moment while our brains absorb and process.

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  4. I was 16 when this happened. I was in school that day, but we weren't watching it on tv, but I remember hearing the news. Then later saw it on tv. It was such a sad day. I live in NH & there is a museum here, McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery center, because she was from here. I would like to bring my daughter there sometime. Stopping by from Stuff & Things.
    http://therantingsofadramaqueensmum.blogspot.com

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  5. I was in 7th grade, Mr. Brown's Life Science class. Living in a suburb of Houston, home to NASA, every kid has the memory of a field trip to NASA (at ours we had a "meet the astronaut session". I can see the man's face in my memory but not his name.) And, space shuttle lift offs were pretty big events in local news stories. We watched it live as well during school. I remember the kid I sat with (we shared science lab tables; 2 to a table). He was my lab partner because he liked dissecting the frog; I didn't; we were a good team. When the explosion happened, my lab partner seemed to "get it" before anyone else. He put his head on the table and let out a loud sob. I put my arm around him. I remember patting his bony back (he was quite a skinny kid). But still feeling like, well, maybe that's supposed to happen. (like you asked your grandma)

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