Challenger Explosion: 25 Years Ago

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by castpolymer, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. jimd

    jimd Friend of Leo's

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    I was a sophomore in college, studying aerospace engineering. I walked out of my physics lecture and ran into my roomate. He told me the shuttle blew up. This guy was a real goofball, always joking, never serious, and I sort of blew it off as a joke. We were both engineering students so the shuttle was a normal topic. But this "joke" was not his usual silly stuff. I walked across campus thinking it was a joke but with a growing nagging feeling that he was serious. I turned on the tv in our dorm room and saw the replays that were on for the rest of the day. I remember the whole episode like it happened yesterday. Even though I was an aerospace engineer, my goal was never to work for NASA. I was, and still am more interested in aeronautics and wanted to design the next cool fighter plane. As it turned out, I do work for NASA, doing aeronautical research. The Columbia accident investigation report is sitting right here on my desk.
     
  2. tazzboy

    tazzboy Former Member

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    Hard to believe it has been 25 years since this has happen. I was home sick from the third grade at the age of 8 years old. I watch over and over again and again and I couldn't believe it. The news just kept repeating over and over.

    back then we only got 3 TV station (CBS, NBC, and ABC) didn't have cable as it was too expensive.

    Here are is 4 part video that found on youtube show and explaining what happen. From NASA TV







     
  3. Big John

    Big John RIP

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    Watched it at my Mothers house 'live' and we both stared at the TV and just couldn't take it in !
    25 years ?, where the heck have they flown too ?
     
  4. wylde4canes

    wylde4canes Tele-Holic

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    I remember being a first grader and they wheeled in TV's to our classroom to watch it. It was a big deal with Christa McAuliffe being a teacher and all. The teacher had her hands full with questions for the rest of the day.....
     
  5. 1962guitargeek

    1962guitargeek Friend of Leo's

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    I saw it at work, it was horrifying...


    yet, just 6 weeks earlier, this happened...and no one seems to remember or care...


    if I sound a bit upset, I am, just a little...my baby Brother was on board

    the difference a bit of celebrity makes in this society is painful to watch...


    case in point: the Congresswoman from AZ...everyone knows her every detail daily...


    anyone even know 15 LEO's were shot and killed so far this month?

    don't mean to rain on anyone's day, it's a very bad time of year for me...


    -Ray
     
  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Very aware of the LEO's. Cops in the family, always at my forefront of awareness. And I'm very sorry for your loss.

    I think these things are remembered on their anniverseries, not because of some kind of celebrity involvement, but because of the sheer scope of the people they affected. Very few instances of tradgedy affect the entire country at once. Things like the Challenger explosion, the Kennedy assassination, OKC, 911, Katrina, will always be with us all, because they affected us all at once.

    I'm not at all trying to discount or brush away personal loss or tradgedy. But when you have an event like this occur on this type of scale, meaning the millions upon millions of people watched these seven people die live on network television, it's going to stick around. Forever. Not very often does a country's entire population get slapped in the face with it's own mortality, all at the same moment.

    Truthfully, events like this give me hope. Seeing the way people come together, and whether they mean to or not, admit that we are all really much more alike than we are different, is a step in the right direction for all mankind. Revisiting these moments, whether we realizeit or not, is a way for us to all feel something in common, and be together again as we were on that day. I would love to see people behave like that every day, without a tradgedy needed to wake them up. But until then, we will always have these moments to share as something in common that we all felt and reacted to in the same way, at the same time. It's a start.
     
  7. wylde4canes

    wylde4canes Tele-Holic

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    First of All, I am sorry for your loss. I am sure it is a wound that never truly heals. As my Big brother is heading to the middle east for his second tour of duty right now, I pray I don't find out first hand. (As irony or such would have it, My brother lives in Clarkesville, outside of Ft Campbell, and his wife was stationed there as her final base before leaving the Army)

    In regards to the LEO's, I hope people are aware as well. There are those that think there may be a connection and that this may be the opening volleys of some kind of an open war on law enforcement. I hope that is not the case.

    In terms of the coverage that challenger gets, I think Jakedog has it right. When you consider the coverage of the actual event complete with footage of the accident itslef, I think it kind of stokes its on fires, so to speak.
     
  8. elicross

    elicross Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think remembering Challenger has much to do with celebrity. If Challenger's mission had gone off without a hitch, how many people would remember any of the crew's names today?

    I think it was more about the fact that this was the first time in NASA's history that a spacecraft failed in flight with fatal results. It's a tragic reality that multiple planes crash every year; it's a horrible tragedy for those whose friends or family were on the plane -- but unless you know one of the casualties, it's a story you've seen many times before. The Challenger explosion is something that most of the nation, myself included, never imagined happening. It marked a major loss of innocence for the country; it forced us to understand that even our amazing, world-beating space program was imperfect and subject to terrible failures.

    I know that doesn't help anyone who lost a loved one on Arrow 1285 or any other fatal plane crash; it's just an attempt at an explanation.
     
  9. pontmercy

    pontmercy Tele-Holic

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    I was at home from school sick that day and was watching it live on TV. Its always been with me! Other than the obvious sadness of loss of life, I also mourn the loss of confidence in our space program since. Those in the know all know we should be further along than we are but this particular accident was the beginning of a lot of funding being taken away from NASA. :(
     
  10. piaggio

    piaggio Tele-Meister

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    already 25 years ?
    seems like yesterday...it was a shocking thing also outside US , I can assure you.
    the shuttle program seemed full of promises then...i still remember the name of one of the astronauts, that struck my teenage imagination, ..Ellison Onizuka, from japan.
    never forgot that name from then on, don't know why.

    it take some bravery to lead a normal life, but it takes an incredible courage to be shot at 10000 mph on the stratosphere, suffering a gravity of many Gs (G is the normal gravity on sea level) , knowing that if anything goes wrong, there's no way out.
    and then turn back, enter the atmosphere at the risk of exploding and simply...land, like you were on a 747.
    special people indeed !!

    honor to the ones who died, and to the ones who managed to make one (or more) complete mission.
     
  11. Sharp5

    Sharp5 Tele-Holic

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    We were stationed in Germany. I was at a cub scout meeting. They sent us home. Remember it vividly.
     
  12. electricbody

    electricbody Tele-Afflicted

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    I remember watching it live on TV. We were home early from school for some reason--exams or something. I was living in South Florida at the time so launches were cool to watch and were still on TV. It was stunning. No words for it.
     
  13. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I had saved up for a VCR in college. I just got the VCR and I was sitting on the floor of my crappy college apartment watching my TV. I thought "hey I can video tape this" and I popped a tape in the VCR.

    I remember them saying "go for throttle up" and the shuttle exploded. The phone started ringing over and over. "Hey man are you watching TV.......oh no!"

    it was so tragic. Everyone was in tears. I still have the Fuji Tape.
     
  14. jimbojo

    jimbojo Tele-Meister

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    I was home from work early that day, flipping through the channels I saw the launch countdown. I remeber thinking, "wow, do they really show these anymore", they just seemed so common. I left it on, and I remember siting there in shock waiting for the shuttle to coast out of the explosion, ofcourse it never did.

    Since then I have seen a retired astronaut from that era give a motivational speach and he broke down the shuttle tragedy. It was amazing and thought provoking. For one thing, there was a certain amount of evidence that they did not all die untill impact. Also, the explosion had been predicted years before as O-ring damage had been recorded on almost every flight it was a fatal design flaw but they had accepted a work around rather than re-engineer the assembly. Amazing how we can "normalize deficiency" just because we get away with it a few times. It was a real tragedy and it was also completely preventable.
     
  15. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Was that Mike Mullane? He wrote rather passionately about that event in his memoir.


    Irrefutable evidence, as a matter of fact. Every one of the crew members carried out their emergency duties. Switches were moved, emergency checklists were out of storage... The astronauts were doing exactly what they were supposed to, not knowing that the efforts were futile.

    The flaw was actually known before there was even a glide test of the Shuttle. There wasn't a "workaround," but the flaw caused oxidation to build up in the rings which would ultimately seal the blow by in certain conditions.

    You're right about the normalization of sub-nominal performance. I'm so angry at NASA for this and Columbia. With the Shuttle program they went from being the guys that figured out how to do things, no matter what, and everyone having the Right Stuff, from the technicians up to the astronauts, to being the guys that accepted mediocrity because it was hard to do things right.
     
  16. Rasmuth

    Rasmuth Tele-Afflicted

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    I was on the air doing my midday radio show on WYGL "wiggle country" in Selinsgrove, Pa when it happened. I knew something was up when our AP news machine in the back of the radio station rang a 10-bell alarm (that meant something huge was happening)....we then went to our nationwide AP news affiliate live for quite awhile. I just sat behind the board of the radio station, stunned....
     
  17. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    Seems like last week to me. How time flies...
     
  18. 3 Chord Monte

    3 Chord Monte Former Member

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    I was doing midday, also, in Jersey. I just ripped and read word for word.
     
  19. jimbojo

    jimbojo Tele-Meister

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    It was Mike Mullane, I saw him live and have seen his video at least a couple of other times.
     
  20. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I was off that day, an unusually warm January day here in coastal So Cal, with offshore breezes bringing in the dry desert air. I didn't see it live, but was alerted via phone. I was shocked and in denial, as most folks were.

    After seeing the replays enough to accept what had really happened, I rode down to the beach and just sat there alone, staring at the clouds and listening to Jim Ladd on KLOS playing some well-placed and appropriate songs, and offering impromptu reflections and commentary in-between that very much befit that day. It felt like attending a memorial for those who lost their lives.

    This song really seemed to grab the feeling of the moment:

     
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