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(Some Guy)   17 years ago today, Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after take-off   ( divider line
    More: Sad  
•       •       •

5290 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jan 2003 at 1:05 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

303 Comments     (+0 »)

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2003-01-28 03:00:47 PM  

The best thing about 247 ops is working 3rd orbit. Sleep till noon, stay on console till about midnigh, get home to e sleeping world to fark around late like I like to. Rinse repeat wipe hands on pants.

I'll Orbit 3 over 1 or 2 anyday for all the reasons you said PLUS the extra pay :). The worst is I4: 7pm to 8am on Friday and Saturday night. Awful.

And as for the outpost, lord I went down to houston for some planning meetings in August. The OPs planners introduced me to St Arnolds. I got sloshed and acted a fool.
Then it was of to.,..sherlocks I beleive.

Yup, Sherlocks on Bay Area it is. Sorry you had to hang our with those Ops Planners though! J/K. How often do you make it to Houston.
2003-01-28 03:03:41 PM  
I was 16 years old when that space shuttle exploded. I think I was skipping school that day and I didn't find out until that night. Oblivious to the world around me at that time, I don't remember how I felt then. But today, 17 years later (a bit more compassionate), I feel sad for those folks who died that day. I wonder how the families of those who died feel this day 17 years later.

Another page in the history books, another horrible mistake in the advancement in mankind.
2003-01-28 03:04:31 PM  
Just that once, A certain Mr leslie had to rush me my belongings cause I left them in his car that night. That was the first time I had been, lovin tha weather. Yeah we support those crazy weekend shifts too. My fate is tied to Ops plan, if we get the Execute package and the OSTP on board early, I get to split. I did Christmass and Thanxgivin last year too. I am the TCO who flirts with all the female controllers and speaks with an unashamed accent.
2003-01-28 03:05:50 PM  

Well, I was just checking. Don't want another Skylab.

Fair enough!

BTW, my kids love to go out and see the ISS on a fly-over. Rather awe-inspiring. We check the NASA site every few days to get the schedule.

Pretty awesome isn't it? The best is if you can catch a Shuttle/ISS docking or undocking. You can actually see the two points of light move towards or away from each other. Just wait until the end of this year when the ISS is twice as bright as it is now! With a pair of binoculars you'll even be able to make out the shape of it clearly (it's really getting big).
2003-01-28 03:06:31 PM  
What's with all the people skipping class? Do they end up being lame managers that make wrong decisions? I wonder if the managers that pushed the launch skipped class?

*Off to ponder the mystery*
2003-01-28 03:07:39 PM  
Was in the elementary school gym, competing in the 'Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition" when a friend returned from lunch at home and announced it in the gym...

Went 1 for 10 after that. Killed my dreams of being the Great White Hope...
2003-01-28 03:09:48 PM  
5 years old, don't remember it much...
2003-01-28 03:12:10 PM  
It was a pressurized can so they could shoot it in their mouth with no gravity, pretty cool really:)
HKWolf and DarkJohnson
Hang on to them! Never know when they'll be worth more in nostalgic terms down the line!
2003-01-28 03:13:01 PM  
Ya know, Christie McCulluf used to be a math she's history...

No! I said Bud Light!

Hey, what's this red button for?

The challenger crew after many many months of hard work decided to vacation ALL OVER florida...

What color were Christie McCulluf's eyes? BLEW! One blew left, the other blew right!
2003-01-28 03:13:33 PM  
Does anybody have a article from their local paper for that day? It would be an interesting read.
2003-01-28 03:14:18 PM  
I was working nights, and had stayed late to finish something up. I got home, and made myself something to eat while I was sitting in front of the television.

All of a sudden, I wasn't very hungry any more.
2003-01-28 03:16:49 PM  
Boy, that was a long time ago. I saw the whole thing on TV in my high school psychology class, it was my senior year.
Holy shiat!

Happy birthday Alton.
2003-01-28 03:17:48 PM  
yah about a dozen people dead is a tragedy... You guys are aware that thousands of people die everyday?

2003-01-28 03:17:56 PM  
Being an astronaut is a dangerous job. All the people on the challenger with the exception perhaps of the teacher.

I was in english class watching some stupid video when some other teacher practically killed herself stumbling into our classroom saying the challenger had exploded. What followed over the next 2 weeks is what always happens. The media saturates every possible outlet of escape with photos, loops, frame by frame analysis, etc. I was 12 at the time and never really knew how to feel about it.

I find myself wondering what all the 12yo kids went through on 9/11 as they faced an even greater level of granularity to the horror of a tragic life-taking event. The challenger was just a rocket we shot into space filled with people who accepted the risk. 9/11 was I think a much more traumatic event which I'm glad I wasn't 12 years old sitting in a classroom somewhere.
2003-01-28 03:19:51 PM  
Sheesh, I get interrupted at work and I forget to type a whole line.

Being an astronaut is a dangerous job. All the people on the challenger with the exception perhaps of the teacher.

Should've been:
Being an astronaut is a dangerous job. All the people on the challenger with the exception perhaps of the teacher accepted that risk for the challenge (no pun intended) that lay before them.
2003-01-28 03:20:15 PM  
To all you farkers celebrating birthdays today, Happy Birthday... I couldn't imagine having to share my birthday with any event of magnitue (the Challenger, 9-11, etc.) The only exciting thing I know of happening on my birthday was that it was my parents wedding anniversary.
2003-01-28 03:22:13 PM  

yah about a dozen people dead is a tragedy... You guys are aware that thousands of people die everyday?


I can't tell if you were trying to write 'Hippocrates' or 'hypocrite.' is a wonderful thing.

More than 2900 people die around the world in a given day. Does that make 9/11 not a tragedy?
2003-01-28 03:24:40 PM  
I was in fifth grade at the time. I sat in the back of the classroom on the far left hand side. The door was in the back of the classroom on the right hand side. It was the middle of math class when the one librarian came to the door and called our teacher out, then immediately went across the hall and called the other fifth grade teacher out. I watched what was happening and was like, "WTH?" All of a sudden, both teachers expressed extreme shock, and I remember hearing our teacher gasp (although it seems impossible, given that it was across a noisy classroom). When she came back in and announced the explosion, the class just sat in stunned silence. Then, from the desk in the back of the classroom on the far left hand side:

"Oh, shiat."

We weren't sent home, but there were no more classes, although I don't remember what we did between the announcment and lunch. After lunch, she brought in a radio (not a TV, a farkin' radio) and had us take notes the rest of the day.

I never did get any demerits for that, though.
2003-01-28 03:25:10 PM  
our history teacher walked in to the classroom after lunch and said, "the space shuttle blew up! It took off, headed up for a few seconds, then just blew up!"

We thought he was just full of crap. Then I got home and saw it on TV and cried.
2003-01-28 03:25:46 PM  
In all sincerity, it's great to see everyone showing the Challenger disaster the respect it deserves, even those of you who weren't around then.

The Challenger explosion fits into that very narrow category of events that are almost literally burned into our memories. Even fewer of these events are burned into the largest majority of our memories... Challenger is right up there at the top with 9/11 and JFK's assassination. John Lennon's murder is another, but it wasn't such a shock for as many people for some reason.

I was in 4th grade, Mrs. Dickerson's class, front row, 4 rows away from the television, which was at the far left side of the classroom. I was wearing a white turtleneck shirt with a black vest, black pants, and black & white sneakers. I remember the explosion and everyone in the class kind of gasped... Mrs. Dickerson, a kindly older lady who was tough but fair, put her hand over her mouth & just stared at the TV for what seemed like minutes as we heard the observers shouting, and the TV commentator from NASA stuttering, before he finally blurted, "there seems to have been a malfunction..."

Reagan's speech that night was probably one of the most touching presidential speeches ever written. He closed it with a paraphrased quote from a sonnet by James Gillespie Magee: "The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.'"
2003-01-28 03:26:34 PM  
I still remember where I was when Abe Lincoln was shot. Man, it was all over the tv that night!
2003-01-28 03:27:31 PM  
Drivinwest. Exactly.

How is the death of Person A any different the Person B
2003-01-28 03:29:21 PM  
Wrong link on the Shuttle Mission.

Here's the URL for Challenger's final flight:
2003-01-28 03:31:39 PM  

I think you failed to see my point.

The Challenger disaster was a tragedy that was shared by an entire nation, just like 9/11. While person A is no better than person B, it is rare that we collectively mourn together as a society.
2003-01-28 03:33:43 PM  
I remember watching this in real life out side of the school (about 20 miles from the launch site) when I saw it explode. Every one of us watched in horror, then looking at each other wondered if we had all seen what we thought we did. Walking back into the cafetieria was no help either, since the TV in there had CNN doing replays every five or so seconds and explaining "aparently, something has gone wrong ..."

It's one thing to see it on TV, it's another thing to see it in real life, hear the roar of the engines, then the sound of the explosion, followed by silence.
2003-01-28 03:33:44 PM  

Depends on how they lived their lives. Some people suggest that all deaths are tragic - but I think most will agree that anyone who lives a better, more productive life devoting it to the service of humanity deserves more respect.
2003-01-28 03:35:56 PM  
Wow. Amazing that it's been that long.

I was on campus. I'd been in a biology class and left from there to go to the student union for snacks and found hundreds of people glued to the TVs...
2003-01-28 03:36:47 PM  
Gaanja - That's true, but they usually don't die on international television, in the midst of a celebratory air.

We usually don't tell our kids that they're something (someone) to idolize. They're usually not someone who are doing something that something less than the population of your average high school have done, EVER, in the history of mankind.

People like that are special. They've got guts, and we'd like to believe (at least some of us) that God watches out for people like that.
2003-01-28 03:39:02 PM  
Hamberger I know - I got it appraised at $500 about 4 years ago.

2003-01-28 03:40:28 PM  
I was 7 at the time... not in school, at home sick. Watching TV with my grandmother... I think a lot of young kids were thrust into adulthood, and a little of our innocence was lost that day. It's definitely the day I'll always remember, much like JFK's assassination before, or 9/11 since for other generations of children. Such a sad day...
2003-01-28 03:41:24 PM  
I was in fourth grade and had been majorly into the whole teacher in space idea and wanted to be an astronaut myself. My class went down to the library to watch the footage - it was so awful because at first we weren't sure that they had all died. I remember hoping for the longest time that they would find someone alive in the ocean or something. It was really the first time anyone I "knew" died, and the violence of it was so shocking to a nine-year old.

The only other event (besides the ones already listed earlier in this thread) that was as scary/shocking was when Mt. St. Helens erupted when I was five. We could see it from our house and my dad had quite a time explaining that even though we could see it, we weren't in any danger. It rained a little bit of ash later in the day - I really thought we were all going to die fiery deaths.
2003-01-28 03:42:16 PM  
Are you serious!!??? WOW! I didn't think it'd get that high until waaay down the line, mines still in excellent shape too, I should go get it checked out! Thanks for the info:)
2003-01-28 03:42:30 PM  
I remember that day pretty clearly. I gave a presentation on what happened to another class in my school, having just completed a paper on the space shuttle that month. It's kinda interesting to me to realize that at 11, I had a halfway accurate idea of just what had gone wrong. I actually predicted the O-ring analysis. At 11. Erf.
2003-01-28 03:43:26 PM  
I was with a group of colleagues having a B.S. break when a secretary came by and told us. We didn't believe it; at first we thought she was kidding.

This is when I started to really hate TV "journalism." For weeks afterwards, everyday they would replay the accident over and over. At first just the accident but eventually, when they though the TV audience was ready for more dirt, the incredible shock, disbelief and unbearable sorrow on the faces of those heroes' families they watched the disaster unfold.
2003-01-28 03:43:39 PM  
LondosHair - You put it very well. All deaths are tragic but events such as this are remembered and are mourned collectively.

Crazednut - as a fellow Floridian I'm right there with ya - I wasn't close enough to hear the explosion but we can easily see launches from here. We were a block from the beach watching. It was so surreal seeing the split of the vapor trail and that initial nanosecond where you thought "now that doesn't look right" before you realize what you just witnessed.
2003-01-28 03:45:18 PM  
I was in lying in bed with a bar girl in Korea when I heard about it on the Armed Forces radio. It was about 1:30am in Korea, if I recall correctly.
2003-01-28 03:46:21 PM  
It was 17 years ago, on a night just like this, on this same stretch of road. It was the worst accident I ever seen....
2003-01-28 03:47:41 PM  
Tell 'em Large Marge sent ya! Hahahahahaha
2003-01-28 03:49:14 PM  
I was in 5th grade in south florida. The newsmedia came to interview my class and a janitor that was outside and said he could see the smoke from the explosion.

A talking head asked me how I felt and I told her that i felt bad for the Halley's comet research satellite that blew up with the astronauts.

I was such a geek in 5th grade.
2003-01-28 03:50:28 PM  
I was in my high school gym waiting for a final exam to start.Its funny the things you remember as if it happened just yesterday, but I can not remember the womans name I slept with last night.
2003-01-28 03:51:29 PM  
I was standing outside with 2100 other high school students watching the vapor trail do funny things... We rushed inside and spent the rest of the day watching the news. I probably snuck a beer or two in there somewhere as we generally had them on ice in one or another of our cars...
2003-01-28 03:55:56 PM  
Never saw Space Cowboys though I did try out to be an extra.

I knew one of the waitrons at the Outpost. they filmed a big fight scene with Clint Eastwood and James Garner, I think. She said she didn't wash her car for a month after Clint rolled across the hood as part of the fight.

I always wanted to work for NASA and maybe be an astronaut. I think to say that Challenger changed that would be an over-statement. It just sort of never happened.

I still remember watching the docking sequence of Apollo-Soyuz. that was huge to me. I had just turned ten. I suppose in some ways that was a predecessor to ISS.
2003-01-28 04:10:18 PM  
Almost 16 y.o., and home sick with all of my brothers. I had been sleeping when they started yelling about something happening to the "ship". I remember going downstairs and seeing the news reports, and feeling awfully sad.

Yes, remember Reagan and Lennon being shot. I'm an oldie but goodie I suppose...
2003-01-28 04:28:12 PM  
can we get back to the lawyer bashing now?

"How could you believe me when I told you that I loved you when you know I've been a lawyer all my life".
2003-01-28 04:29:54 PM  
Watching the video online, what strikes me is the chilling understatement that could only have been uttered by an engineer:

"Obviously, a major malfunction."
2003-01-28 04:39:12 PM  
I was at work and when I heard I just sort of went home for the day. Didn't tell anyone I was going, no one ever asked.

I remember that my wife and I were fighting - I don't remember about what - and just called off the fight for a couple days by unspoken agreement.
2003-01-28 04:40:30 PM  
01-28-03 03:06:31 PM Marquis_in_Spades
What's with all the people skipping class? Do they end up being lame managers that make wrong decisions? I wonder if the managers that pushed the launch skipped class?

This is a self-selecting group. Class-cutters == Farkers.
2003-01-28 04:43:05 PM  
I was 16. We were about to leave to go to my grandfather's funeral. We saw about the first 10 minutes of coverage before we had to leave. Kinda hard to focus on a funeral when you just saw something like that.

Sad day x 2.
2003-01-28 04:44:27 PM  
15 years later, I worked next door to the place that manufactured the defective o-ring (or so I was told).
2003-01-28 04:47:53 PM  

Morton Thiokol was the manufacturer.The o-ring was not defective it was just that the temp. was too low and that caused the o-ring to fail.
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