Friday, January 28, 2011

Where Were You

The crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-51-L pos...Image via Wikipedia
25 years ago, the Challenger exploded.  I was in 3rd grade.  My teacher had applied for the program but didn't make it into the selection round.  We were going to watch the launch at school.  This was when not every classroom had a television mounted on the wall.  It was a bid deal to us.  We were super excited.  Then it snowed.  No school.  No getting out of class to watch a space shuttle take off.  My mom went to work and left me home alone with the TV to babysit me.  Yes, a simpler time. 

Knowing that there was a launch and their not being much on TV for a 3rd grader to watch at that time of the morning, I watched the launch.  I watched it explode.  I was by myself in my living room.  I may have called my mom, I don't really remember.  It was devestating.  A third grader easily makes the jump that teacher applying for the program was actually teacher almost went.   Ronnie Raygun (Ronald Reagan for anyone who doesn't know me or others like me) came on TV and gave a stirring speach and told us that we had to keep moving forward.  This was only a couple of years after another stirring moment when they announced the Raygun himself had been shot (over the PA at school). 


This is a science fiction site, but as the name would imply, science is half of what science fiction is about.  The sacrifice of these seven astronauts was an effort to move science and discovery forward.  What they were working toward was making space opera a reality.  As science fiction fans we can never forget the people that devote their lives to pushing science forward.  So join me in recalling your memory of where you were and how you were affected. 
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6 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was in college and in between classes, watching the launch with some friends. It was absolutely devastating.

SteveB said...

Like Alex, I was in college was in the lounge-cafeteria when it came on the (then) big screen tv. We were all silent and devastated.

It seemed impossible. How could it happen?

Pat Tillett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat Tillett said...

when I found out about it, I was crushed! It was so sad. I have a little bit of fear everytime we have a manned launch or re-entry, even today.

I have no idea where I was, or what I was doing when it happened.

M Pax said...

I just graduated from college and was in NYC. I didn't have a TV, but I was sad to hear. Have always love space exploration and the brave souls who go out there.

Nick said...

I was 12 and my brother was 10 or maybe just turned 11 and we were both home sick from school and watched the footage pretty much live. It was a really sad moment.