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13 Comments Vintage
I remember watching this happen. I was in 3rd grade, it was the first time our teacher wheeled a TV into the classroom. We were all so excited to be watching a space shuttle launch live! Our excitement quickly turned to horror.
This is so awful and tragic, those poor people just had to stand there and watch as their families die right there with not a single thing they could do for them. Absolutely awful.
I believe these were the parents of one of the members on board…
I was in 7th grade, and I’m fairly certain we had color TV by then. 😉
I’m joking around, but we did watch the launch live, and the explosion too. It was ROUGH.
I was 28 when this happened. I remember it so clearly. A sad day in our countries space history?
I remember watching this in kindergarten, the teachers all wheeled TVs into the room so we could watch and celebrate. We were too little to understand what happened. I had never seen a rocket launch, I thought that’s what happened when you launched a rocket. We all sat there silently, I think we were all waiting to see where the rocket went after the explosion, thinking that the explosion was what launched the shuttle upward, then we realized something was wrong from the teachers’ reactions.
“And I want to say something to the schoolchildren 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.”
– President Reagan
Tragedy aside, I’m impressed with the photographer of this photo. A terrible but incredible event is happening above you and you turn your back to it to capture another heartbreaking side to the event.
I posted this before on /r/spaceflight but my dad was at the launch by sheer dumb luck, if the weather had been normal he’d not have been there. He had his camera with him and his gear and started shooting.
This photo gave me chills down my entire body. 🙁
Cuz NASA was mailing it in…. And now Americans bum rides off the Russians.
My grandpa was one of the engineers that designed the o-ring 🙁 supposedly his entire perspective on work changed that day.
I was a junior in HS when this happened. Computer science class with Mr Godin. IBM PS AT II’s and Apple Mac with the double 5 1/4’s.
Went to Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook, NH. Concord HS, where Christa McAuliffe taught, wasnt that far away. Everyone knew the story, we were all watching. Our high school had several projects done about the space shuttle and NASA, the whole state of New Hampshire felt like we were a part of it.
Side note- when the Columbia disentegrated over TX on Feb 1st I was out playing frisbee golf with a buddy. Clear morning, we looked up and saw what looked like a meteor coming apart in the atmosphere. Called home and asked the wife what it was, she told me about the shuttle.