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Posted: 1/28/2006 7:19:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 7:20:56 AM EDT by The_Macallan]
Twenty years ago today...






I remember it very well.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:21:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 7:22:10 AM EDT by Gloftoe]
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:23:42 AM EDT
I was in the 5th grade. The teacher, Mr. Stutz, came in and said the shuttle blew up. We didn't believe him. I remember them putting in a TV in the class room, only then did we believe.

We became very complacent after 5 years of successful shuttle missions.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:27:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:33:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 8:23:02 AM EDT by warlord]

Originally Posted By dport:
We became very complacent after 5 years of successful shuttle missions.


NASA wanted to stay on schedule no matter what. They laid-off many their engineers and had only management personel who only wanted to stay on track and was depending on Thiokol for technical expertise.

I just walked into worked and everybody was watching the television. This happend was I was driving to work and wasn't listening to the radio. We did very lttle done work that day.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:08:07 AM EDT
man, I remember that well, I was in the tenth grade, didn't think I'd forget the teacher chicks name, but I did, you remember the one, she had blue eyes.

MLW>"<
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:13:26 AM EDT
Yeah, I remember it very well too. I was in 4th grade, I remember running to the cafeteria to tell anyone who would listen. Everyone was in utter shock.

--VT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:17:53 AM EDT
Sophmore in high school.. someone told me during lunch break, i didn't believe him until that night when i saw it on the news.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:30:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gloftoe:
I was in 7th grade US History class, watching the launch live with the rest of my class.

I don't remember the rest of the day.




I was in seventh grade, as well.

We didn't watch it live, but the Principal made an announcement at lunch.

It got really quiet for a minute and then everyone want back to what they were doing.

I don't think anyone believed it any more than I did. I thought it was impossible, untill I got hoe and saw thw launch in TV. Couldn't deny it then......

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:33:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 8:35:20 AM EDT by HLVascovich]
I was 8 and remember watching it in my 3rd grade classroom. Ronald McNair was from this area - so it was a local as well as national tragedy. I believe Reagan said it best:



Address to the nation on the Challenger disaster
Oval Office
January 28, 1986



Ladies and gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.

Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.

For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.

We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.

I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.

I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."

There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

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 good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."



Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:35:52 AM EDT
Man...time flies! The morning the shuttle blew up, I as living in McCall Idaho. The teacher in space had selected a friend of mine, a local teacher Barb Morgan. She ended up as the back-up TIS for the flight.

That morning, I was on my way to finish one of the ice sculptures I was building for that weekends start of Winter Carnival. I had spent the previous night working on the 1/3 scale space shuttle sculpture in the city park. That was supposed to be the 'crowning jewel' for the ice sculptures. Lots of people were working on it, and it was about finished. The shuttle sculpture was in a little city park along main st.

So I walking down to work and a gal I knew asks me if I'd heard about the space shuttle. She said it had 'blown up'. So I'm thinking some drunk driver ran into the ice sculpture space shuttle. I was laughing. She must have thought I'd lost my mind.

On the way to see how bad the shuttle sculpture was screwed up, I stopped in the Bar where I worked to get some coffee. They had the TV on. DAMN! It finally sunk in what had happened. All I could think of was whether Barb had been on board. After a few phone calls, I found she was ok, but was tasked as NASA's liason with the crews' families.

That was a totally different Winter Carnival after that. Instead of the regular big celebration on opening night, there was a solem ceremony at the shuttle sculpture.

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 8:38:26 AM EDT
I was a freshman in highschool, watched it live on tv at home.
I was so glued to the tv that I didn't go to school that day.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:25:29 AM EDT
I remember where I was m16 trainning at Hurlburt feild fla. we broke for lunch and wonder why the flags were at half staff. Then we were told what happened we didnt believe it but we all ran to our cars and turned on the radio to find out it was true. I worked air crew support the year before when it was being ferried back to the space center from Calif. and remember seeing it for the first time and thinking man is that sucker huge.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:29:09 AM EDT
I was in 8th grade English class watching it on TV and was utterly saddened.

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:33:45 AM EDT
The Challenger NEVER BLEW UP!

It was all a big hoax by the Reagan Administration.




......That was a terrible day for the shuttle program and America. There is a monument to the astronauts at Arlington National Cemetary.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:44:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 4:26:02 PM EDT by diabolical_chicken]
i was a freshman in HS

i was at lunch and a guy told me "The space shuttle blew up."

i said, "no it didnt, it went up, just like it always does--what a terrible thing to say!"

it took him a minute to convince me he was telling the truth, not just teasing me

a math teacher from my HS in north carolina was a finalist for teacher in space


Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:53:11 AM EDT
I was at work that morning. When the news was heard on the radio, we all went to the large conference room and watched the coverage on TV.

Reagan's eulogy was one of the best speeches of my lifetime.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:53:24 AM EDT
I was in 9th grade. A guy came running up to a group of us in the hall, and yelled "The space shuttle
just blew up"! I told him he was full of shit.

Sad day when I saw it on TV.

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:53:34 AM EDT
I was 7, in second grade and my entire elmentary school was in the gym watching the lauch.
ONe of the 6th grade teachers in my district was a finalist, every year she would go to the other schools and talk about her experience at NASA and show all of the things they gave her including a small peice of moon rock. She died last year of breast CA.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 10:11:01 AM EDT
I saw it on the launch pad about a month earlier when I was at the Cape.

It blew up while I was at lunch when I was a Junior in H.S., when I returned to my Electronics class, our instructor told us the bad news.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 10:16:46 AM EDT
I was on the roof of a Holiday Inn we were constructing near Wright State University in Fairborn Ohio.

Was an electrician apprentice at that time.

Very sad day indeed.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 10:23:21 AM EDT
I remember it well.

Everyone was in a very somber mood for about two weeks..........

And then the jokes started.

I suppose it's a copeing mechanism.

Micheal Smith, the pilot was from my town of Beaufort, NC...All of 3K people.

There is a tasteful memorial for him on the boardwalk at Beaufort harbor.

The joke that started circulateing amongst the locals was:

"If you listen to the recording of the the accident, you'll hear Mike saying "Am giving it full throttle" right before Challenger blew up.

He redlined her!

That's the last time they get a Tarheel to pilot a space shuttle!"

It doesn't seem as funny now in the retelling as it was in the context of the time.

I think we all just needed to laugh at the time.

I also remember being really, really sick of hearing about that teacher.

On of my friend's fathers saw me getting mad one time and said;

"Son, a woman teacher dieing is news. The son of a North Carolina chicken farmer dieing isn't."



Link Posted: 1/28/2006 10:34:40 AM EDT
Tag - I was about to turn 2, don't remember any of it.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 10:59:53 AM EDT
I was tending bar with the TV on watching the launch.

I knew what happened immediately. It was hard to watch the faces of the families in the viewing stands, it took a while for it to register with them what had happened.

Damn, you guys make me feel old - I'm not!
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:00:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:12:50 AM EDT
I wasn't even a year old yet.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:16:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 11:17:27 AM EDT by KBaker]
I graduated from college in December, 1985. I was living at home with my parents and still looking for a job at the end of January, 1986. My clock radio was set to wake me up so I could listen to the launch (we didn't have cable at the time, and only CNN was carrying the launch live unless you had a satellite dish and could get the direct NASA feed.) They counted down, launched, and then about the time the Challenger cleared the tower, the station broke for commercial.

I remember thinking at the time, "Well, at least this one didn't blow up on the pad."

I'd been expecting a disaster for a while.

Just so you know, I grew up on Florida's Space Coast, in Titusville. Titusville was a bedroom community for the contractors involved in the Apollo program. My father worked for IBM's Federal Systems Division, and was a quality control technician on the Saturn V Instrument Unit, the black ring section of the Saturn V rocket right below the payload bay that held the LEM. The Instrument Unit was the guidance system for the Saturn V. I remember clearly, as well, when they announced that Apollo 13 "had a problem." I know how risky manned space flight is, and I knew we'd had a long stretch with no serious incidents. I figured time was running out.

When they came back from commercial, they announced that the shuttle had been destroyed in an explosion. I spent the rest of the day in front of the television watching the replays and listening to the idiot commentators.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:26:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 11:27:45 AM EDT by PlaymoreMinds]
Wow...I was in my late teens working at SEARS. We were gathered around the TV's watching it. When it "split" I remembered asking the manager I worked for if that was "supposed to happen."

Very sad day.



ETA: until Sept 11, 2001, that day was my generation's "Where were you when JFK was assasinated" day.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:35:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bushwacker85:
I wasn't even a year old yet.



Now that makes me feel old
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:42:40 AM EDT
It would be a year and eleven months until I would be born.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:48:11 AM EDT
I had skipped school that day and was sitting in a pizza place watching it live on tv
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:50:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:53:33 AM EDT
I was walking in to eat somewhere in Cocoa,FL and looked up and saw it.You instantly knew this was a major fu**up.It was like when you saw 9-11,it was surreal-like "This can't be happening".About a year later I was talking to a casual friend who was a NASA enginneer and he said "You'll never see the audio tapes/black box released from Challenger because some of those people survived the intial explosion".

After that it was just a long ride down to the Ocean.

RIP Challenger crew.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:58:58 AM EDT
I just arrived in Germany.
I remeber seeing it on a TV in a bar.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 12:05:07 PM EDT
I was in Korea getting ready to go to the flight line and thinking today is my birthday, and watched it on TV
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 12:25:43 PM EDT
I remeber 10 years ago when Dallas Cowboys beat the Steelers. At the super bowl, the son of one of the astronauts did a fly by there. The missing man he flew I think.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 12:31:49 PM EDT
6th grade for me.

That day, and the '89 earthquake (though it happened the evening before) were the only 2 times I remember everyone in school watching national TV for hours on end.

Fast forward to 2001 and now I'm the teacher in the classroom. The math teacher next door bursts into my room and tells me to stop what I'm doing and turn on the TV...a plane had crashed into the WTC and somebody's van blew up at the Pentagon.

After a couple of hours, the principal came on the intercom with a directive to shut off the TVs and teach class as normal. Real freaking easy to do, moron. The worst part was trying to convince some of the students that the tragedy that day was the attack on New York City and death of 15,000 people (what we thought at the time), not that the basketball game against the rival school across town was being canceled.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 2:08:50 PM EDT
i was home sick from 1st grade with the flu, my dad had taken a day off of wirk (we didnt get to see him much) and wew we're sitting in the kitchen eating grilled cheese sandwhiches listening to it from the other room.

sad day.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 3:11:34 PM EDT
One of President Reagan's greatest speeches. The man knew how to speak to the nation

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:08:48 PM EDT
I was a SFC (E7) at Ft Polk, LA. I was turning in a box of urine samples from a drug test and the guys had it on the TV. It was one of the nicer jobs I had there. We couldn't belive it at the time.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:38:57 PM EDT
Still Remember it very clearly... I was in 4th grade when the announcment was made

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:50:24 PM EDT
I was at Fort Rucker. I remember we sat and watched it over and over after class.


Aviator
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:53:22 PM EDT
I was in 5th grade and the entire school assembled in the gym to watch the launch.

One of those things that just stay with you.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:07:07 PM EDT




8th grade gym locker room, between classes. Watched it in the gym teachers office with my gym class.

Sean
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:10:14 PM EDT
My mother was a little more than a month pregnant at the time....
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:10:27 PM EDT
I was in second grade, watching it on TV
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:13:36 PM EDT
I was 6. I probably watched something about it, but I dont remember it at all.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:20:03 PM EDT
I grew up in South Florida so I always went outside to watch every launch. I was almost 5 years old, on my driveway with my grandparents and we watched it happen.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:23:41 PM EDT
I was a senior in HS. I was in the band room talking and the band teacher came in and told us what happened. Sad day, indeed.


Woody
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:34:20 PM EDT

We come together today to mourn the loss of seven brave Americans, to share the grief we all feel and, perhaps in that sharing, to find the strength to bear our sorrow and the courage to look for the seeds of hope.

Our nation's loss is first a profound personal loss to the family and the friends and loved ones of our shuttle astronauts. To those they have left behind - the mothers, the fathers, the husbands and wives, brothers, sisters, and yes, especially the children - all of America stands beside you in your time of sorrow.

What we say today is only an inadequate expression of what we carry in our hearts. Words pale in the shadow of grief; they seem insufficient even to measure the brave sacrifice of those you loved and we so admired. Their truest testimony will not be in the words we speak, but in the way they led their lives and in the way they lost those lives - with dedication, honor and an unquenchable desire to explore this mysterious and beautiful universe.

The best we can do is remember our seven astronauts - our ChallengerSeven - remember them as they lived, bringing life and love and joy to those who knew them and pride to a nation.

They came from all parts of this great country - from South Carolina to Washington State; Ohio to Mohawk, New York; Hawaii to North Carolina to Concord, New Hampshire. They were so different, yet in their mission, their quest, they held so much in common.

We remember Dick Scobee, the commander who spoke the last words we heard from the space shuttle Challenger. He served as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, earning many medals for bravery, and later as a test pilot of advanced aircraft before joining the space program. Danger was a familiar companion to Commander Scobee.

We remember Michael Smith, who earned enough medals as a combat pilot to cover his chest, including the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals - and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, in gratitude from a nation that he fought to keep free.

We remember Judith Resnik, known as J.R. to her friends, always smiling, always eager to make a contribution, finding beauty in the music she played on her piano in her off-hours.

We remember Ellison Onizuka, who, as a child running barefoot through the coffee fields and macadamia groves of Hawaii, dreamed of someday traveling to the Moon. Being an Eagle Scout, he said, had helped him soar to the impressive achievement of his career.

We remember Ronald McNair, who said that he learned perseverance in the cotton fields of South Carolina. His dream was to live aboard the space station, performing experiments and playing his saxophone in the weightlessness of space; Ron, we will miss your saxophone and we will build your space station.

We remember Gregory Jarvis. On that ill-fated flight he was carrying with him a flag of his university in Buffalo, New York - a small token he said, to the people who unlocked his future.

We remember Christa McAuliffe, who captured the imagination of the entire nation, inspiring us with her pluck, her restless spirit of discovery; a teacher, not just to her students, but to an entire people, instilling us all with the excitement of this journey we ride into the future.

We will always remember them, these skilled professionals, scientists and adventurers, these artists and teachers and family men and women, and we will cherish each of their stories - stories of triumph and bravery, stories of true American heroes.

On the day of the disaster, our nation held a vigil by our television sets. In one cruel moment, our exhilaration turned to horror; we waited and watched and tried to make sense of what we had seen. That night, I listened to a call-in program on the radio: people of every age spoke of their sadness and the pride they felt in `our astronauts.' Across America, we are reaching out, holding hands, finding comfort in one another.

The sacrifice of your loved ones has stirred the soul of our nation and, through the pain, our hearts have been opened to a profound truth - the future is not free, the story of all human progress is one of a struggle against all odds. We learned again that this America, which Abraham Lincoln called the last best hope of man on Earth, was built on heroism and noble sacrifice. It was built by men and women like our seven star voyagers, who answered a call beyond duty, who gave more than was expected or required, and who gave it with little thought to worldly reward.

We think back to the pioneers of an earlier century, and the sturdy souls who took their families and the belongings and set out into the frontier of the American West. Often, they met with terrible hardship. Along the Oregon Trail you can still see the grave markers of those who fell on the way. But grief only steeled them to the journey ahead.

Today, the frontier is space and the boundaries of human knowledge. Sometimes, when we reach for the stars, we fall short. But we must pick ourselves up again and press on despite the pain. Our nation is indeed fortunate that we can still draw on immense reservoirs of courage, character and fortitude - that we are still blessed with heroes like those of the space shuttle Challenger.

Dick Scobee knew that every launching of a space shuttle is a technological miracle. And he said, if something ever does go wrong, I hope that doesn't mean the end to the space shuttle program. Every family member I talked to asked specifically that we continue the program, that that is what their departed loved one would want above all else. We will not disappoint them.

Today, we promise Dick Scobee and his crew that their dream lives on; that the future they worked so hard to build will become reality. The dedicated men and women of NASA have lost seven members of their family. Still, they too, must forge ahead, with a space program that is effective, safe and efficient, but bold and committed.

Man will continue his conquest of space. To reach out for new goals and ever greater achievements - that is the way we shall commemorate our seven Challenger heroes.

Dick, Mike, Judy, El, Ron, Greg and Christa - your families and your country mourn your passing. We bid you goodbye. We will never forget you. For those who knew you well and loved you, the pain will be deep and enduring. A nation, too, will long feel the loss of her seven sons and daughters, her seven good friends. We can find consolation only in faith, for we know in our hearts that you who flew so high and so proud now make your home beyond the stars, safe in God's promise of eternal life.

May God bless you all and give you comfort in this difficult time.

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:36:14 PM EDT
I was in my dorm room at Univ Of Oklahoma watching "The Price Is Right" on my tiny B&W TV and getting dressed for Sociology class.
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