Memories of the Challenger

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I was getting ready to go babysit when my mom yelled Mary Challenger crashed they're dead. I could not believe my eyes. I went to work and stared at the tv in a daze. To this day there is a place in my heart for those poor people. I remember an interview with Christa McAculiff her little girl telling her not to go.

From: mary walton

Having just turned 4, I remember my Dad was making a fuss that a rocket was going into space and there was a lady who was going to do experiments on the TV in space. He was trying to get me interested, he put a programmed a tape to record it. But I didn't care. A 4 year old isn't interested in that sort of stuff. But then I saw a movie about 5 years later. It was sad and I wished I payed more attention.

From: Chris

I was in the first grade. I don't think my class had been watching it that day, but I knew that the first teacher in space was going up in the air that afternoon because my father worked at NASA. Anyway, the principal came onto the intercom and announced it when the Challenger exploded, and I came home from school in tears. I also remember that my mother was very angry at my father, as if it were his fault, when it very clearly was not--he had very little to do with the design of the Challenger. I remember looking at my picture of Sally K. Ride and confusing her with Christa McAuliffe, thinking that the first female in space was dead and life was over until my father explained things to me.

From: Christina

I was at work, when my boss came running out of his office and told us the shuttle blew up. We thought he was kidding at first because he always made jokes. But he looked very serious. We went down to the conference room where there is a tv. The whole office was in shock.

From: Jackie

I was in the third grade at the time, but my class didn't watch the launch on TV because you really couldn't get good reception in the building. Anyway, the principal came over the loudspeaker and was terrified when she announced it. I don't remember much of what happened next, although I do remember going home and turning on the TV and seeing everything that happened. It was the first time I remember seeing something that was really tragic on the news and understanding its impact. A few days later, the funeral for the crew was held and our school broadcast Reagan's address over the PA. It happened around lunchtime and I remember they never told us they were going to keep us all inside to listen to it. As a result, we were all yelled at for being third graders and not paying attention and wanting to go outside when we didn't know why we were being kept inside. Which is really beside the point, because I just remember the next couple of years around that time, we'd fly the flag at half mast and have a moment of silence. Now, it's like "That was 15 years ago?" and most people in school weren't even alive back then. Sorry to use a cliche, but I think that is definitely one of the days in history when an entire generation lost its innocence.

From: Tom Panarese

School had been let out early at Galway Central School in Galway, New York because it was snowing really hard outside. I was in ninth grade at the time. To make a very long story short, school was dismissed at 9AM because of the snow storm heading in; a classmate of mine had an older sister who was a senior at the time, and she had a car. I got a ride with them, and I ended up at his house for lunch, and decided to listen to music, talk about which girls we liked, watch MTV, teenage boredom stuff. It all made perfect sense back then mind you. We were punk-rock-puppy dog boys. I don't remember who said it while we were watching MTV, but one of us said "Dude, the shuttle goes up soon, let's watch it take off!" We turned to NBC, we chatted a little about the space program before the shuttle went up. It was probably one of the more serious conversations I had at the time. Then the 'launch' and everything looked great. Shuttle launches had become so common by 1986...suddenly something looked strange, then an explosion! What!????? Then an image that has been emblazoned on my mind since that horrible day. The explosion. My friend asked the obvious in a shaken tone "Are..are they dead????" We were both freaked. Seriously. It was a first in my life. The serious notion that life is not fair, accidents happen, and death will happen to us all someday. We stayed glued to the TV the rest of the day. I watched President Reagan address the American people that night. It was so surreal. Poor Kristy! A myraid of images awash in my life from the period. Reagan as President, roller skating on Friday nights, then watching Miami Vice, shirt collar worn up, tour tickets for Sting, Duran Duran music, big 1980's hair, John Hughes in the theaters, New malls opening daily...and the explosion to top it all off. It was a benchmark for everyone, and especially Gen-Xers. Space shuttles launching like elevators before that fateful day. So very sad. I didn't cry about it until years later...........

From: Jason C. Piecuch

Judy Resnick worked for/with me for several years during her employment at RCA Corp. It was clear to me early on that Judy was destined for special things. I have have many memories to share, and might do so if anyone is interested.

From: charles robey

I remember, i was in the first grade. Eating lunch outside. I lived in Titusville, FL (the Space City). It was a horrible event.

From: Chris

I was in the 11th grade at the time and I, along with just about everyone in Hawaii was feeling such pride that one of our own (Ellison Onizuka) was an accomplished astronaut. Disbelief, then shock, and finally the was such a sad, sad day for all of us in Hawaii.

From: Lisa

I was in the 8th grade. I remember going into my Advanced Studies class. The teacher had a friend who was an astronaut so she was really big on the space program. I remember her crying and not knowing what was going on. I had missed the actual liftoff so I had no idea what happened... then some of the others told me. I think that was the moment that hooked me as a news junkie... I must have watched the news for hours on end... just getting any information I could. The one semi-humourous thing I remember is that over the course of the newscast they'd bring out larger and more elaborate models of the Challenger, presumably as fast as they could build the kits... =)

From: Rob Harrington

The day the Challenger exploded was my 15th birthday, so I remember it very well. I visited Cape Canaveral (did I get this right?) three years later and saw the pictures of the shuttle crew. Very touching.

From: Maria from Finland

I was in 5th grade when the shuttle exploded. I remember having televisions in the classrooms but I don't remember actually seeing the live braodcast of the lift-off. I do remember being dismissed to recess after it occured. Recess, form what I remember that day, seemed to last a long time. Perhaps the teacher's at our school didn't know what to do with us so they figured that it wouldn't hurt to send us outside for longer than usual that day. I will always remember the Challenger fateful flight that day.

From: Doug

I was eleven years old when Challenger exploded. Unflatteringly, I happened to be in the bathroom when my mother called out "Disaster at Cape Canaveral!" She'd heard the news on the radio in the kitchen. The name seemed familar to me but I couldn't quite place it. Cape airport or something? Then it suddenly clicked, and I realised the truth.

From: Neil Fraser

There are only five major events that ocurred during my lifetime which I remember explicitly my exact whereabouts: 1) The 1980 Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid, 2) The assassination attempt of Pope John Paul, II in 1981, 3)The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, 4) The beginning of the Allied Air campaign against Iraq in 1991 -- but none were more significant to me, personally, than the Challenger's last flight. I was in 6th grade at the time and to this day, I will never forget sitting in Mr. Dunn's 6th grade english class at Samuel Gompers Middle School (Madison, WI). We were not watching the launch, but were made aware of the catastrophe by a sole male student running up and down the halls screaming (in tears), "The Shuttle exploded!! The Shuttle exploded!!" Of course, we initially did not believe him. That sort of thing could not happen to the Challenger -- that only happened to the Soviets and Chinese. Not to us. The school was then asked to assemble in the gym where our principal formally informed us. People who grew up in the '60s always argue with me -- but I can see how this event is equivalent to Kennedy. To us in 1986, we were so enthralled with the newfound pride in the space race as a direct result of the Shuttle program. All of us wanted to be astronauts. We all had Shuttle models and toys. We dreamed of our parents' sending us to SpaceCamp in Huntsville for the summer. It all came to a halt on that day. It was the first day that I ever felt as though America, as a whole, was vulnerable. There is rarely a day that passes which I do not think of the Challenger; it was the courage and honor of the seven crew members which untied an entire nation.

From: Derek DeWaal

I was in 6th grade. Our class was one of the few that didn't watch the event live on TV. I actually didn't hear about it until I was walking home from the bus. I remember very clearly who told me. I said "yeah right" and she said "go check the TV" I watched the coverage the rest of the day. I'm glad I didn't have to be subjected to watching it in class with a teacher. My mom was a teacher at the time and it hit her hard.

From: Mac

I am doing a project on the Challenger right now. I was researching the subject and came across all these comments. The one about being born on the same day is so freaky. I'm only in the 8th grade and and am very intelligent. The Challenger explosion is so weird. I would've thought that technology would've detected that problem before hand but I guess it didn't. God Luck in the future and God Speed. Whoever goes up in a spaace shuttle, has a lot of guts! Imdacutycheern

From: Samantha

I was almost 5 when I was watching She-ra, I think, and then my mommy told me that there was going to be a launching of a spaceship. So we changed the station and watched it together. Then before we knew it Challenger exploded. My mommy was so shocked she called my daddy who was at work to see if he knew about it. I just remember saying to her that now some kids won't have a mommy or daddy. I also didn't get lunch until much later that day as I recall. Yes, I remember when Challenger exploded, it is amazing that I do with it being almost 15 YEARS ago!

From: Christy

I was 45 when it happened I was right there. I remember seeing the clock count down and thinking what the crew was thinking. I saw the shuttle take off and then when it was just starting to get some altitude it exploded. It was very nerve wrecking and I dream about it to this day.

From: joe

It was a clear, sunny, yet cold day and i was at school. I was 11 years old and in grade 6. I still remember where they rolled the tv into our classroom, and how other classes huddled in to join the day-long viewing. It was everyone's first taste of danger and real tragedy from an era of innocence and dreams of outer-space. For months after, our class did projects on the space program, and my group did a salute to the Challenger, building a miniature shuttle out of toothpicks and glue.

From: John Evans

I was 12 at the time, I remember watching a live British kids show 'Blue Peter' when a newsflash cut in and showed the explosion. We didn't hear a lot in Britain about the Space Program before the accident, but it was a day I will never forget. It touched the hearts of many people this side of the water. God rest their souls.

From: Sandra Finch

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