Wednesday, August 01, 2007

21 1/2 Years After Challenger

All these years later, NASA's going to send another teacher up on a shuttle.

There's lots of talk about Challenger--how could there not be--but do you remember the names of the Challenger crew?

I do.

Commander Scobee
Pilot Mike Smith
Ron McNair
Greg Jarvis
El Onizuka
Judy Resnick
Christa McAuliffe

May they rest in peace, and have no visitors.


Anonymous said...

MikeAT said...


My police station is the Dr Ronald McNair South Central Patrol Station.

He was a local boy.

Paul said...


I was a plebe an remember hearing the news shortly before Lunch formation. I still have the front page from the NY Times from January 29th, 1986 and I haven't forgotten them either.

Darren said...

I was coming back to the barracks after class, before lunch, and people walking towards me were walking with their heads down. I asked one what was wrong, and he said that the shuttle blew up. We watched the tv in the dayroom until the last possible second to make it to lunch formation--and left as soon as our class lights were lit in order to get back to the tv's.

Turns out Challenger didn't explode. I have a NASA DVD with a video of the final report. Turns out that the o-ring leak allowed a plasma flame much like a blowtorch to burn through the mount that held the SRB to the external tank. When the mount was gone, the SRB could rock back and forth, which damaged the tank--well, you get the idea. Everything ripped apart. That big white cloud was just the condensation from all the fuel in the tank. Don't forget, the SRB's flew for several more seconds (20?) before they were detonated by NASA--had there been an explosion, both of them certainly wouldn't
have survived.

And while that sick transcript of the crew's final moments, one you can now probably easily find on the internet, has been labeled a fake, it's quite clear that the crew was in fact aware of what had happened and were conscious until impact.

It was a surreal day. There wasn't another one like it until 9/11.

Eric said...

I was stationed at Ft. Devens, MA with CBTI Co., 10th SFG(A). I clearly recall being in the section and listening to it on the radio.

That and the Gander, Newfoundland crash are two events early in my military career I will never forget.

I still have the Time and Newsweek magazines about the Challenger

Darren said...

I remember Gander. 101st, wasn't it? And where were they coming from? A part of the world that's very peaceful today :(

Tom said...

You guys were definitely older than I was. I was a 7th Grader at Liberty JHS in the Orlando, FL area. A short 40 minute ride to the Cape. That cool (ok it was quite cold that day) probably the entire school filed out to watch the launch from the soccer field. We even piped in the local launch coverage. Even from the distance we were away, before anything was said, I knew there was something dreadfully wrong. To this day I still have all of the newspaper clippings from the following days to come covering the disaster. Being a Florida boy, I feel myself pretty connected to the space program, just cause it's so prevalent in my area.

Eric said...

Darren, it was the 101st - 3/502nd Inf to be exact. They were returning from the Sinai - as you know (but just to enlighten other readers).

Darren said...

I was at the Air Force Academy when they crashed. I have a picture of the flag at half-mast somewhere.

Middle East peace duty. The exact locations change, the mission doesn't.