Thursday, January 28, 2010

2day N Space 1986
Challenger Explosion

Truly amazing that 24 years later these words can still send a chill up my spine - "Obviously a major malfunction... We have a report from the Flight Dynamics Officer that the vehicle has exploded". I was in college and had just been let out of historical geology early due to my instructor's laryngitis. Heading straight into the student center, I saw tons of people gathered in the the two lounges that had a tv. I assumed Reagan had declared WAR on Iran (or whoever was acting up in 1986). When I made it around the hall to next lounge I heard the words from Peter Jennings "... and this is when it happened." Or something like that... I stopped dead in my tracks, stunned. I think I watched that footage for hours at home before I finally had to turn it off. My desire to work at NASA never wavered. To this day a wall in my cube/office has all the shuttle stickers since I have worked at NASA. I came along between STS-29 and STS-30 but decided my wall should start with 51-L to always remind me of the bottom line and to keep the safety of "our friends in hight places" in mind! It also stands as a vigil of why we do what we do, slip the surly bonds of Earth and explore. It is in our nature to explore, it defines us, it makes us great! "we must never... stop exploring, stop hoping, or stop discovering. We must press on." -VP George H.W. Bush
Live NBC coverage video while it actually happened (holy cow...)
CBS breaking news video of Challenger disaster with Dan Rather
ABC coverage with Peter Jennings five hours after ( he is emotional and haggard)
NBC Nightly News from 1/28/86 - Tom Brokaw (still painful, but a powerful reminder)
ABC Challenger explosion news coverage (beware - includes some classroom reaction)

No comments: