NASA marks 25 years after Challenger disaster

Sep 2009
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#1
NASA marks 25 years after Challenger disaster

The United States on Thursday marked a day of remembrance for astronauts who have died in the line of duty, particularly the victims in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger 25 years ago.
Schoolchildren and space enthusiasts around the world watched live January 28, 1986 as the Challenger lifted off carrying seven astronauts including the first teacher, Christa McAuliffe, to embark on a mission to space.
The shuttle exploded 73 seconds after launch at an altitude of 14,000 meters (46,000 feet), killing everyone on board. Engineers determined that the blast was caused by the failure of a joint seal due to cold weather.
"We have seen that achieving great things sometimes comes at great cost and we mourn the brave astronauts who made the ultimate sacrifice in support of NASA missions throughout the agency's storied history," President Barack Obama said in a statement.
"We pause to reflect on the tragic loss of the Apollo 1 crew, those who boarded the space shuttle Challenger in search of a brighter future, and the brave souls who perished on the space shuttle Columbia."
A total of 24 people have been killed while supporting the space agency's mission since 1964, NASA said.
Among them were seven astronauts killed aboard the Columbia in 2003 when the space shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry to Earth due to a damaged heat shield that was compromised by a broken off piece of insulation.
Three astronauts died aboard the Apollo 1 in 1967 when a fire broke out during a launch pad test.
"This year marks the 25th anniversary of the loss of Challenger -- a tragedy that caused us to completely re-think our systems and processes as we worked to make the shuttle safer," said NASA chief Charles Bolden.
"The nation will never forget January 28, 1986, nor its indelible images."
Bolden attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington on Thursday, and flags at NASA stations were flown at half-mast.
"NASA has learned hard lessons from each of our tragedies, and they are lessons that we will continue to keep at the forefront of our work as we continuously strive for a culture of safety that will help us avoid our past mistakes and heed warnings while corrective measures are possible," Bolden said.
"The legacy of those who have perished is present every day in our work and inspires generations of new space explorers."

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NASA marks 25 years after Challenger disaster

I remember exactly what I was doing. I was at my parent's house getting ready for work in my old bedroom. I was watching the launch on TV. I remember the shock and being unable to process for a second what was really happening. Then the question ... could they have survived? I left the house very shaken and went to work. I remember the newspaper guy stopping in the pharmacy where I worked and telling us that he had special edition papers of the disaster. He said the last special edition was the day JFK was assassinated.
It was surreal.
 
Likes: michaelr
Aug 2010
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See you in a new existence!
#2
It was a bit shocking. I was standing on a pier in the St. John's river in Jacksonville, FL and we could see it from 160 miles away. When it exploded, no one in the group I was with knew what happened so we went inside to see it on the television and found out the bad news.
 
Dec 2010
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Oregon
#3
Thanks man. I know exactly where I was and what I was doing at that time. I was in a K Mart cafeteria working on a very greasy compressor. On a ladder looking down on top of the refrigeration unit. It was a truly chilling moment.
 
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Katiegrrl0

#4
I was 15 home sick and flipping channels. I saw a couple of stations showing the shuttle launch. The countdown was like a minute away so I watched. It took off and exploded. I just said oh fuck that was not good. I told my mum and she said i was crazy. The replay freaked her out. she started crying and all kind of stuff. I turned on something else and watched that. I don't think I could get my head around what had just happened.
 
Dec 2010
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Oregon
#5
I was 15 home sick and flipping channels. I saw a couple of stations showing the shuttle launch. The countdown was like a minute away so I watched. It took off and exploded. I just said oh fuck that was not good. I told my mum and she said i was crazy. The replay freaked her out. she started crying and all kind of stuff. I turned on something else and watched that. I don't think I could get my head around what had just happened.
After I got the refrigeration unit running I went to my mothers house and told her to turn the news on. I got to see it there, I had only heard fragments of a report while working. It was an awful sick feeling to see that. Just like someone had told you the worst possible news.
 
Nov 2010
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#6
Well, I was in elementary school and didn't really know what happened,heard teachers mentioning something about it. Saw when i got home. That night was also the my first ever hockey game, the Islanders beat the Maple Leafs 9-3. A song that always reminds me of the Challenger explosion was Dire Straits Walk on By, which was always playing around that time.
 
Dec 2010
2,734
125
Oregon
#7
Well, I was in elementary school and didn't really know what happened,heard teachers mentioning something about it. Saw when i got home. That night was also the my first ever hockey game, the Islanders beat the Maple Leafs 9-3. A song that always reminds me of the Challenger explosion was Dire Straits Walk on By, which was always playing around that time.
Funny how disjointed things like that stick together.
 

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