Memories of the Challenger

This is one page of many, check out the intro at I Remember Challenger for others.

This page currently edited by: Dagwood. Past editor: Junior

I remember that day. I was sitting with my parents watching the launch on television from my grandparents' living room in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. All I could think about while the smoke billowed out from where the shuttle had exploded was, "so, this WASN'T supposed to happen?" I was little, what did I know?? I'll never forget how quickly the broadcast was interrupted with a dark screen. My parents looked like they'd just seen a ghost.

From: Leigh Tanner

Well I know the tragedy really well because the day that it happened, I was born. Ever since my mother told me that I was born on that tragic day, it has always been an interest of mine to learn all about it. Even though I'm only 14 years old I know how to look at things that are a big deal. And this is one of those things. I've done many projects on the Challenger disaster, and I'm doing one again. god bless!!!!!!!!!

From: miranda Throneburg

I wasn't born yet. I was doing a report on the Challenger. My mom doesn't like to talk about it. Whem I asked my mom for an interview for my report. She broke down and started crying. I knew it exploded and had alot of brave people on it. I remember looking online for information. I saw pictures. Even though I wasn't there it felt like I was. I found out that something was wrong with the O-ring. We all will remember those brave people abourd the Challenger.

From: Sarah

I remember that day. I was a freshman in high school when that happened. I was living in Hawaii, were Ellison Onizuka was from. The school I was attending was over populated, so we didn't have enough tv's for all classes to watch. I was limited to watching the news when I got home, and reading the papers. It was all over the papers for months, it seemed. What a terrible tragedy.

From: Holly

I had three kids when the Challenger blasted off and exploded. The kids were out of school for snow and we were sitting on the floor eating breakfast and watching the Challenger lift off on our color television. We started to see smoke coming out of the space shuttle and I thought that was what it was supposed to do. I finally realized that it was blowing up and I was filled with grief and sadness for the passengers. I still remember it to this day!

From: Zada Church

The memory is etched like a fossil in stone. During my 4th grade class a teacher pulled my teacher into the hall. When she came back in she was crying uncontrollably. When she said the Challenger had exploded we were all a bit confused until they rolled the tv set into the classroom. Nearly 15 years later, I have to right a paper on the ethical issues involved in the Challenger disaster. After knowing all the facts about the decisions that where involved in the launch process of the Challenger, you can see a lot of room for ethical human improvement. God bless all.

From: Jeff

I have been unable to forget this day for 14 years. It was my senior year of school and I was psyched. Not only did I have a semester to freedom, it was also the day before my 18th birthday. We were ushered into our Government class and since our school had just started to use televisions in the classroom, it was extra special that we should get to watch the space shuttle. We watched it ascend and give the Y split. We all looked at each other and back to the screen. Then we looked to our teacher for an answer to the question we were all asking: what happened? No one could answer that for us for a while and why it happened we still cannot say. All the crew were heros to us-especially the teacher on board. To this day I cry everytime I think about it and remember to say an extra prayer for the people who were on board and their families.

From: NIcole Kobrowski

I was 6 my mom used to encourage me to become an astronaut. We had no TV in our classroom but for quite a few weeks before there was talk about this teacher going up in space. I remember for some very strange reason lunch break was very long, the older kids were looking up at the sky for the rest of the day, school finished early. I asked what had happened. I remember an older schoolmate telling me that the Challenger "blew up". I thought oh they probably parachuted and are in the ocean, (I was only 6) I hadn't seen the footage. Usually we were picked up after school by the a delivery guy at my mom's workplace, all the kids of parents that work with my mom went to my school : ), we used to all be in the back of the van, but on that day my mom collected me from school. I had to ask what happened, my mother told me that they were not coming back and that they where in heaven. To which I responded why? (still haven't recieved an answer from her) but when I got home I saw it on the news, I can remember every thing about the way it turned and the way the it just pulled apart and the y-shape and the cloud trails. That's when it hit me for the first time that heroes die and people don't come back when their gone. I had pets that died before but I never saw something that showed me one second you are here the next you are gone. Very, very disturbing. I remember afterwards getting these white gloves made of plastic, like plastic bag with cartoon like drawings of the astronauts on them. I remember wishing they where alive again. When they got wrinkled, I tried to iron them straight again, needless to say I got a sound whipping for destroying the iron : )

From: Reuben

At the time I was in third grade and obsessed with the Space Program. I knew everything about the Shuttle, every US combat plane, astronaut training... Each Shuttle lauch and landing was an event for me. My class had just gotten back from lunch and came back to a darkened classroom. After we had all taken our seats we noticed our teacher at the front of the room with a tv and vcr. She did not say anything and was crying. She simply turned on the tv and began to play a tape of the launch. All I remeber after that is crying and feeling sick. Something had gone horribly wrong with that which I held most dear. I seem to recall doing nothing else in school for the rest of the day, except for watching the launch over and over with different reports as to what may have happened. I saved all the newspaper clippings and magazine covers/articles I could find. I still have them and a mission patch stored safely in my room. To this day every January 28 at the time of the launch I take 73 seconds to remember...

From: Brian P, Baltimore MD

When all this happened, I wasn't even born yet. But in "1998" I was waching the world news with my dad and the news people were saying something about a space shuttle blowing up a couple of years ago. My dad told me to pay attention to the news so I did. Then they showed everybody who were watching the news a shuttle lifting off for about a minute and ten seconds then blew up. I asked my dad what had happend and he had said a long time ago seven people were lifting off to go into space when all of a sudden it blew up. I started cring because it could have been any anybody from my family.

From: sky

I was eleven years old when the explosion happened. I stayed home from school that day, when my mother came home for lunch she told us about it. We watched the news the rest of the day. I remember being in awe of the fact that I had watched seven people die. I remebered feeling really sad for the families who had to witness their loved ones die.

From: anna

Well on that tragic day that the Challenger exploded I was only 9 yrs old at the time, but I can recall it like it was yesterday. When I came home from school my brothers had this look on their faces that was out of the normal. Then they told me and I was in total shock. Then having to go back to school the next day was not easy, because you could see that some of the teachers had been crying. We even talk about it in my class. Then a few years down the road when I was in the 11th grade we had to our research papers on something that had happen in American history. And this gave me the chance to write about the Challenger explosion. And my teacher who was hard to please love the title I came up for my paper. "Throttle Up"

From: Kathy

Both my wife and I cried at the knowledge of the accident. We remember it as if it were yesterday. We kept all the magazines and stored them away so at some time in our future we could look back to remember the feeling. It was quite a shock to find out that someone who has been working with me for a short time happens to be the son of Captain Smith. He has been not only an asset to my company, but also a good friend. When I did find out that Capt. Smith was his father (he doesn't like to advertise this), all the pieces fell together. He is smart, witty, considerate, and always ready to face any challenge. No doubt just like his dad. To all those who miss Capt. Smith, be sure that he lives on in his son and my friend, M.S.Smith.

From: Donka Richards

I was only three when it happened, but it stands out crystal clear in my memory. My mom was watching TV, holding me, and we were rocking away in the rocking chair. I just happened to have my face turned in the right direction at the right time in order to see that infamous split. At that moment the rocking suddenly stopped. To the Challenger crew, friends, and families...God bless.

From: a.s.

Unfortunately when I wrote here before I was so overwhelmed with the negative memories of the George Hull Centre that I forgot about the REAL pain that the famlies experienced and the moment I found out... ..Well I was nine years old and in grade 3 and I was in Saint Louis Catholic School in Toronto, Ontario. Miss Harmic was away that afternoon. I don't remember if she had been there that morning. I remember around 12:00PM Mr. Mattemateo left an annoucement on the PA system saying something about some kind of accident and to pray "for Christa and the families" but I didn't pay any attention because me and the other students were hungry and just anxious to get the hell out of the classroom and run to the lunchroom.. ..When we came back from lunch and walked into the classroom and sat down, we saw the supply teacher frown. The supply teacher told us that a space shuttle had exploded and that a teacher was on it and that she had been killed and that her kids were watching. Unfortunately the supply teacher didn't mention anything about the astronauts. ..I remember feeling sad and horrified for the teacher's children...I remember our class talking about the accident and the sad look on my mom's face when I got home. I remember how I watched the Challenger explode for the first time on TV and for the next hundred times throughout the night...I remember the endless footage of Christa and the astronauts smiling and waving...I remember watching Christa on TV..her beautiful smile..her tears..her radiant voice...I remember tears flowing from my eyes as mommy tucked into bed...And most of all...I remember how I found package on my desk..nearly 14 years later... from Christa's mom...I remember how Christa became a way for me to touch her mom...and how Christa became a way for her mom to touch me... My heart felt sympathies to all their families...Love and God Bless

From: R B

I was a senior in Berrien County High School, located in Nashville Ga, when my class recieved the devasting news. I remember sitting in Mrs. Connell's accounting class at a loss for words. All I could think about is the crew's families standing there watching this horrific site and imagining what they are feeling at that very moment. I just hope and pray that God put his loving arm around them and gave the strength to cope with such a tragedy. God Bless the crew and families of the Challenger, they will never be forgotten.

From: Renee Been

I was five when Challenger exploded. I remember watching something on TV and all of a sudden it was interupted by a Special News Report. I didn't really realize the severity or what had happened, but I remember seeing the video of the explosion over and over again. It is a picture that I will never forget.

From: Nathaniel

I don't really know quite what to say. I guess I will start off like so many others have on this page. I was in kindergarden at The Collegate School in Richmond, Va. My best friend at the time was a kid by the name of Randy Resnick. To many of you, his last name will ring a bell in your head. Yes, Randy was the nephew of Judy Resnick. I cannot put into words the emotions that swirl in my head and through my stomach any time the Space Shuttle Challenger is mentioned... Because Randy was in my kindergarden class, we spent almost the entire year leading up to the disater studying "Aunt" Judy. Judy became an aunt to each and every one of us. We cared for her as though she was our own aunt, even calling her Aunt Judy... Randy was not in school the day of The launch. He and his mother had flown down to the Kennedy Space Center to watch their family member go into space. I remember receiving a letter from my friend (written by his mother) in the mail saying that he would not be back as soon as he had expected because of launch delays. Also included in the letter was an official mission patch of the up coming flight which I hold dear to me to this day... The day of the launch is in somewhat of a blur to me. Our class, for some reason, did not watch the event on TV. Nor were we notified of the "accident." My teacher may have and probably was, but was letting our parents give us the devastating news when we were picked up after school. It is this moment that I will remember forever. I was sitting in the back of my mother's stationwagon driving down River Road. We had not even drivin a block when she told me that there had been an accident with the Challanger; that there had been an explosion. I remember crying as she told me that Aunt Judy had died. I cannot imagine the feelings of Randy, his mother, and the rest of their family as they watched the horror. Nor can I imagine their lives today. Randy moved away after that school year ended. I think he moved to Ronoake, Va but I'm not sure. If for some reason you see this, Randy, please e-mail me at I would love to get back in touch with you. I often think about you and pray for your family. I would also like to share my condolences with Dr. Joel Cohen. I read your message and I sympathize with you. To all of those affected by ths disaster, please remember that one must seize the day. Make the most out of life, just like the seven crew emember were doing upon their deaths. God Bless you all. ~Peter W. Congdon

From: Peter Congdon

I was a few months shy of my 9th birthday and my brother and I were at our babysitter's house for lunch. The launch was big news up here in Canada. My babysitter had the news on and we heard her exclaim "Oh my God, it exploded!". My brother and I raced to the TV and watched the news reports. The sight of that explosion was scary for an eight year old and has remained with me all these years. We all pray for those lost on the Challenger and their families.

From: Melanie MacLeod

I clearly remember the day that the Challenger exploded. I was sitting at my desk, in Mrs. Tilton's 1st grade class, working on my math assignment for the day. All of the class rooms had TV's in them, and Mrs. Tilton felt that that day -- January 28, 1986 -- was going to be a historic day, so she turned the launch on. As it turned out, she was right. Even at the age of 6, I was infactuated with spaceflight and knew "everything" about how they worked. When the spacecraft violently exploded, all of my classmates kept asking, "what happened?".....but I, I knew what happened, and I knew it wasn't good. Like many others, I can remember being totally transfixed to the replaying footage......Thinking to myself, 'this is not possible!' Time and time again for the rest of the eveing, I watched the video with my family and can remember being held by my mother who was weeping soft tears. It's definately an event that has impacted me forever!

From: Brian

Previous List or Next List

This is one page of many, check out the intro at I Remember Challenger.

Would You Like To Add Your Memories?

Got an idea for a page we don't have yet?

Submit your memories