Memories of the Challenger

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

I was 6 years old when the Challenger exploded. I was sitting in the living room with my mom because I stayed home from school that day and watched the launch live on television. It didn't really hit me until later in my life what had happened when I did a research paper on it in high school. I think this hit our generation as hard as, if not harder than the Kennedy assination hit the generation before us. It bothers me that the schools don't really mention this tragedy in history classes like they do with the Kennedy assination. This was a massive tragedy and should not be forgotten.

From: L.J.

Driving down a local Glorida road, glancing at the sky and noticing a white vapor trail that seemed to divide into what seemed to be a Y shaped pattern. Minutes later on the radio came the announcement that Challenger had exploded seconds into flight. The memory of that sight and the feeling of tremendus loss has never left me yet. And I don't think it ever will. That memory will stay with me forever.

From: fran kuller

I remember exactly where I was. A true child of the 80's, I was 5 and a half years old. I was at my friend Brittney's house like I was everyday after shool and we were watching the launch on TV. I had never seen a space shuttle launch and I was really excited. After it happened, I didn't really understand what was going on, but I remember people crying. I remember the Punky Brewster episode. That was very sad. But it was an awesome decade to be a kid...

From: Brendan

I was 15 years old at the time. I live in England and I was in my final year at school...I was fascinated bt the American space program...I was born in 1969..first man on the moon in the year I was born! I was always so envious that America could do all these wonderful things and go into space and we in England could only watch. I had come home from school and put the Tv on as usual to find all our news programs running the story. It was on Tv here in England constantly for the whole day...I remember thinking that I felt so sorry for the families on the ground watching..the way the news crews filmed their reactions live..the distress and that huge fireball...and the 2 booster rockets shooting off in oposite was in all the papers and everyone talked of it for weeks after...It was such a shame and even though it was far from us we grieved for you and with you.

From: simon cole

I was a flight instructor stationed at Chase Naval base in Beeville Texas. My student and I had just taxied in when someone announced over the radio the shuttle had blown up. I thought they were joking. In operations we watched the replay. Then some moron joked, "Know what NASA stands for?" "Need Another Seven Astronauts." We didn't laugh.

From: Joe Matlock

I was in 5th grade when it happened. We were walking back in a single file line from gym class. A teacher poked her head out of the teacher's lounge and said that the shuttle had blown up. The whole class was silent for the rest of the day. I'll never forget that moment.

From: Doug Seaman

I was only five months old when Challenger exploded on my aunt's birthday. I remeber them, but I don't. I never saw them, but I commend the entire crew. I salute them...

From: Gavin

I was 8 years old and in the 3rd grade. I was at home that day because I had a bad case of the flu. I'll never forget sitting in front of the television with a pile of tissues sitting beside me. I didn't even know anything about a shuttle going up and all the sudden there were news reports and pictures of these people. My mom tried to explain to me what happened but I didn't understand. I started to think that maybe Christa would walk up and say that it was all a mistake and none of them got on the shuttle. I just wanted her to smile and say, "No you've got it wrong, we are ok." But she didn't. I'll never forget that day.

From: Emily

I was 9 and a half years old when Challenger exploded. I spent most of my childhood in Florida, but that year I was living with my father in Georgia. I don't remember who told me Challenger exploded, my memories are vague. I don't even remember if we watched it as it was happening at school or not. If we did, I know I didn't understand what was going on. I do remember beforehand my parents and other adults and kids and I talking about the teacher who was going up in space and how cool it was. That she had kids and taught kids. I remember talking about it with my friends and how we all wished it was OUR teacher going up in space because it would be so cool. I remember seeing the astronauts and teacher on tv and in the news and getting excited about them going up into space with a teacher. I do remember seeing the footage of the liftoff and explosion over and over again on my tv at home. My whole family watched it for days and could talk of nothing else. I remember feeling so sad and in shock. I couldn't believe they were dead. It took me a long time to believe it. I kept asking questions like,"Well are they sure they didn't fall in the water and swim away?" Kept hoping they really were alive somehow. It was hard for me because I really related to the teacher and her students. I kept thinking how I would feel if my teacher had been on Challenger and how scared and sad her students and family must feel. It was so hard for me to believe it was all real. Challenger exploding was one of those events in my life that changed how I see things. I will always remember Challenger and it's brave crew.

From: Jayna

I was nine years old when the Challenger Exploded. I was in my grade 3 class at St. Louis Elementary School in Toronto, Ontario when I heard of the tragic news. The death of Christa and the astronauts deeply affected me for many, many years and especially in my ninth year. In fact I became so depressed about the incident that my teacher forced me to go to the George Hull Centre where this fat and ugly social worker named Tina put me in a room with mirrors and videocameras. I'll never forget the moment Tina asked me about my fascination with Christa and then at the next moment this young guy named Steve walked into the room and then Tina said: "oh by the way, this is Steve, he's been watching our conversations from behind the mirrors" For years I thought that Christa McAuliffe brought nothing but bad things to my life--like my visits to the George Hull Centre. But then, last year I got the opportunity to write a letter to Christa's mom Grace Corrigan..In my letter I told Grace of how I felt Christa's presence as I marched and sang to the Girl Guide song and that the irony was I had no idea that Christa had been involved in the Girl Scout program. Grace loved my letter and wrote me a beautiful letter back.. Grace even sent a present--an autographed picture of her daughter.... So now when I think about Christa, I realize that she has had a positive effect on my life. The videocameras, social workers and mirrors have disappeared. Children no longer remember the Challenger Disaster...For me, all that matters now is my gift from Grace Corrigan and how I got a chance to give something back to Christa by reaching out to her mom....

From: R B

I am doing a book report on the Challenger. I feal really bad about what happened even if I wasn't alive.

From: Melissa

I was standing on my front steps when I said to a man passing on the street "Hey there goes the shuttle" (I lived in Northeast Orlando), he looked up and said yeah and kept walking. Then i said "It's not suppose to look like that is it?" I ran inside and watched the news all day long, over and over. What a very sad day it was!!!

From: Lu Ann

I was nine years old when the Challenger exploded. I remember being one of only a few students allowed in the hallway to watch the liftoff. I remember how shocked I was that the shuttle had exploded. It was a real blow to me, knowing that there was a teacher on there. This was the profession I had always wanted to go into and here was a woman doing something great for teaching. It is very disheartening for me to read everyone else's memories. I hope to do great things for teaching like Christa did! Challenger Crew ~We'll always miss you!!

From: Sarah

I was only 7 days old when the space craft Challenger blew up. I was still in the hospital. My mom says she was visiting me. She was in the lobby sitting there watching tv when there was a special report. She saw the footage of the crash and started crying.

From: Jason

January 28, 1986, approximately 10:45 a.m. CST...the day the crew members of the space shuttle Challenger "reached out and touched the face of God". I was a senior in high school at the time. Every time the space shuttle lifted off on a mission our principal would make an announcement over the intercom to let us know that the launch had went well. There are details of that day that faded into obscurity with the passage of time, but I will never forget the intercom crackling to life that morning and Mr. Butler's voice, in an unusually somber tone, spilling forth from the speaker: "Faculty, staff, and students, can I have your attention, please...It is with deep regret and sadness that I inform you that slightly one minute after its launch this morning the space shuttle Challenger has exploded..." After that announcement, time stopped. No one moved. No one spoke. Stunned, total silence. Dick, Michael, Judith, Ron, Ellison, Greg, and Christa..."The Seven" will never be forgotten.

From: digitalshadow

I was born in 1982, but I don't remember the Challenger. But as I read these memories I feel like I was watching it happen. Reading this page has given me chills, and I will definitely do my report on the Challenger. I will try my hardest to not only report the facts, but also the feelings of the people who watched--unable to to anything about the explosion. Thank you for allowing me to experience so vividly the memories placed here. I will remember Challenger.

From: Jessica

I remember exactly where I was when the Challenger exploded. I was six years old and in Ms. Allenbaugh's kindergarten class. Since this was such a special launch we spent the day talking about space, and the school had arranged to have a tv in the gym so that we could all watch it together. I remember filing in the gym and sitting down towards the middle of the front, right next to my best friend. The whole school was there and the teachers were trying to get everyone quiet for the launch. I remember the count down, the lift off, then the explosion. I don't know if I understood at that moment what was going on. It was suddenly very quiet and the voice of the news castor cut in. Then they began showing the footage again, and again... They quickly shut off the tv and everyone went back to their classrooms to talk about what had happened. I remember that night just sitting at home in front of the tv. Sitting and watching...not really hungry, not really sure what to feel, crying. A few years later they made a tv movie about the Challenger. Most of it was on after my bed time so I had my mom tape it, it brought back so many memories. Today I hear people talking about the Kennedy assass ination and they say we don't understant because we've never experienced anything like that, but I think the Challenger explosion has the same implications for our generation.

From: Megan

I was 6 years old when I saw the Challenger blow right in front of my eyes. I was in Daytona Beach. When I think of it now, I just don't know how their families felt when it happened.....Just think of it.

From: Thamer

I had just turned 11 years old when shuttle exploded. I had come home from school early, and was sitting on the floor in the living room watching the launch live on T.V. All of a sudden there was this huge fireball, and I could hear the people on the ground by the camera saying things like "Oh my God" and "I don't think thats meant to happen".

From: Greg in the UK

I was in the 8th grade in Cleveland, TN when Challenger exploded. I will never forget that day. We were in the middle of class changes when some guys ran out of the media center yelling that the space shuttle had just blown up. Our school set up several televisions in the media center, cafeteria and gymnasium for anyone who wanted to see the news reports. When I got home several hours later, that same explosion scene was still playing over and over and over....roger..go with throttle up. Amazing how some things stick in your head and that moment in time is frozen.

From: Bob

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