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(WTKR)   Man sorting through old box in grandparents' house finds never before seen pics of the Challenger disaster, blasting subby right back to his fourth-grade classroom. Where were you older Farkers that day? (with the pics)   (wtkr.com) divider line 309
    More: Sad, Challenger, space shuttles, Challenger disasters, Bill Rendle, Christa McAuliffe, grandparents, Michael Hindes  
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13077 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jan 2014 at 8:36 AM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-18 10:45:04 AM
Happened while I was walking a couple of blocks between my apartment and work. I'd been following the shuttle program from the start, building models and whatnot before the first one was built. Later moved to Florida and could occasionally see a launch. Once I heard I told the boss I couldn't work that day. Went home and was numb for rest of day.
 
2014-01-18 10:45:35 AM

Orion5k: I wasn't even a seed in my father's balls. But in honesty, I read these posts and realize that the Challenger had an impact on people in the same way that 9/11 did for me. The memory is forever in my brain. I love history, and it's always astonishing to learn of the events and connections that burn themselves into the collective psyche. I never knew that this launch was so important, but thank you all for your input. I've seen the footage, but now am able to apply the emotions. This has been a lesson for me.


I don't really think I'd compare the two.  Prior to Challenger we'd had the Apollo I fire.  Nobody didn't know that space travel was risky.  9/11 stunned the world and forever changed the geopolitical paradigm.  Challenger was simply a tragedy in exploration.
 
2014-01-18 10:48:38 AM
I was home sick, on the couch. I remember being puzzled as to what was happening at first, then screaming for my mom.
 
2014-01-18 10:49:43 AM
Sixth grade science class.   We were watching the launch together, and the teacher was particularly excited about it (and this was a guy who didn't get excited about much).

Obviously, it was awful.

Two years later I had the same teacher for science, and I parroted one of those stupid old Challenger jokes.  Got a talking-to after class.  He was one of the many teachers who had tried to get into the program to be on board the mission.

/I was a teenage idiot
//outgrew it only a little
///obviously...I'm a grown man still using slashies
 
2014-01-18 10:50:36 AM
I was working at the Dallas Morning News. We had just finished our run for the next days subscriptions when it happened. We had to re-do everything because we put out a special edition. Still have the newspaper from that day wrapped in plastic.
 
HKW
2014-01-18 10:50:39 AM
Always hated teachers. Glad to see one get what she deserves.

next.
 
2014-01-18 10:51:05 AM
localtvwtkr.files.wordpress.com

Wow.  Just wow.
 
2014-01-18 10:53:22 AM
Fifth grade, I stayed home that day because I was "sick" so I tuned in to watch and then history happened.
 
2014-01-18 10:53:47 AM

nekom: Orion5k: I wasn't even a seed in my father's balls. But in honesty, I read these posts and realize that the Challenger had an impact on people in the same way that 9/11 did for me. The memory is forever in my brain. I love history, and it's always astonishing to learn of the events and connections that burn themselves into the collective psyche. I never knew that this launch was so important, but thank you all for your input. I've seen the footage, but now am able to apply the emotions. This has been a lesson for me.

I don't really think I'd compare the two.  Prior to Challenger we'd had the Apollo I fire.  Nobody didn't know that space travel was risky.  9/11 stunned the world and forever changed the geopolitical paradigm.  Challenger was simply a tragedy in exploration.


I'd agree with you in the long-term sense, that 9/11 had a far broader impact, but if someone asked me what that actual day was like, I'd say 9/11 is the perfect comparison. This huge sense of loss and general confusion. I was in school, but when you listen to the accounts of people who were adults. It mirrors exactly the 9/11 situation for me at least as an adult. The sense of loss, the struggle for information, the misinformation and then corrections so at the midpoint no one is clear on exactly what happened, people not knowing quite what to do with themselves....
 
2014-01-18 10:53:53 AM

Tigger: Two horrible facts about the Challenger disaster

1) They were killed by shiatty management
2) They were probably alive until they hit the ground

http://www.amazon.com/Riding-Rockets-Outrageous-Shuttle-Astronaut/dp /0 743276833/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390058878&sr=8-1&keywords=riding+roc kets


Thank you for your contribution. Now, kindly go fark yourself with a rusty butcher knife.

Was in Belle Vernon, Pa unloading my trailer load of eggs at the FoodLand warehouse facility. The Government Fruit Inspector came by and told me what happened. I broke out in to a sweat and just stood there unable to speak for quite a few minutes.
 
2014-01-18 10:54:26 AM
I was in art class, when someone came in the class and said "the Challenger exploded" we all got let out of class, went into the lounge to watch it. Very sad day.
 
2014-01-18 10:55:01 AM
McAuliffe would have been on an early flight if baffin' Jake hasn't bumped her off for his joy ride.
 
2014-01-18 10:55:12 AM
I was about 19, walking through the student union at the community college, on my way to meet a friend. Paused to watch the launch on the NASA feed they had up. Then HOLY shiat DID THAT JUST HAPPEN? My dad worked for NASA, so I called him at work. We were both crying.

For him it was especially bad, since he had known the crew of Apollo 1, and the only reason he wasn't at the Cape when they died was that I'd been born nine days earlier. He dedicated his entire life to the US space program, so he took those tragedies very personally.

That was a rough day. I took it pretty hard when Columbia went down too. My dad raised me to be a true believer in the space program, and to this day I tear up just thinking about the fact that we went to the moon. People take it for granted these days (except the crazy deniers), but god damn it, we PUT A MAN ON THE FREAKIN' MOON. How can anybody not appreciate the magnitude of that achievement?

/I'll just be over here, sniffling and muttering to myself
 
2014-01-18 10:55:13 AM
I was sitting in the waiting room of a tire company in Tyler, TX getting new tires for my car. One of the grease monkeys came in the room, changed the channel, and said something like  "The dang space shuttle done blowed up!" This was years before Boomhauer.
 
2014-01-18 10:57:41 AM
I was in college in rural NY. I didn't hang out with people who watched TV and none of my friends really paid attention to the news so I didn't hear about it for a few months.
 
2014-01-18 10:59:00 AM

librarianwah: Brawndo: I was in 8th grade, having lunch. My social studies teacher came up to us and told us that the shuttle had exploded. We thought he was joking with us.

When the principal got on the PA system to tell everyone the news, afterwards, you could hear a pin drop in the school.

What kind of farked up Social Studies teacher did you have to make you think that it was a joke?


He wasn't farked up, just very laid back with a dry sense of humor. Also, he just told us and not other kids, so we really thought he was messing with us.

Obviously, we felt like shiat when we realized that he was trying to tell us an unbelievably huge piece of news.
 
2014-01-18 11:00:02 AM

eraser8: painless42: I was in 5th grade. My class wasn't watching but another class was. One of the other teachers came in to our room and told my teacher what had happened loud enough for the kids in the front to hear and when it got back to me in the back of the class, being a huge NASA fanboy and 10 year old "expert" on these things, I told the kid in the next seat that he'd heard wrong and that the challenger blowing up was impossible.

I also remember that one of the 5th grade teachers had had a dream the night before that it had blown up and everyone thought it was creepy and pre-cognitive, though in fairness in 5th grade you don't know anything about probability.

Also remember very vividly all the horrid jokes we told:

What does NASA stand for? Need Another Seven Astronauts

Where was Christa McAuliffe's last vacation? All over Florida?

What was Christa McAuliffe's last words to her husband? "You feed the dog, I'll feed the fish"

/A paychiatrist would say that Gallows Humor is an appropriate coping mechanism for tragedy

//I just think 10 year old boys are insensitive little jerks

///at least I was a jerk in the 80s and was allowed to mature into a functional adult. In 2014, my 10 year old self would be sent to sensitivity training and receive death threats after being outed and shamed on Gawker or jezebel for making cracks like that.

How did they find out Christa McAuliffe had dandruff?

They found her head and shoulders all over the beach.


What was the last thing that went through Christa McAuliffe's head on that fateful day?

The astronaut seated right behind her.

/window seat, please
 
2014-01-18 11:00:51 AM
I was working maintenance at what used to be The Quality Inn at Rt 17 & I95. I lived in a house on the property and was on my way to lunch when I heard two men in the parking lot discussing the accident. I spent the rest of the day repairing a timeclock so I would have a reason to sit in front of the TV while doing so.


/Anyone here remember the old Heart's Lounge?
 
2014-01-18 11:01:31 AM

Fear the Clam: I was in college in rural NY. I didn't hang out with people who watched TV and none of my friends really paid attention to the news so I didn't hear about it for a few months.


Months? Where was this college, buried 500 ft under the bottom of Lake Erie?
 
2014-01-18 11:01:41 AM

marto: I was in my forth grade class. Didn't see it happen, sixth graders saw it.


Perhaps you should have paid better attention during spelling.
 
2014-01-18 11:02:28 AM

broken jebus: [localtvwtkr.files.wordpress.com image 627x408]

Wow.  Just wow.


I had never seen that picture until today. It kinda gave me the chills.
 
2014-01-18 11:02:34 AM
I was a sophomore in college.  I had some time between classes so stopped by the student center to watch the launch.  There were about 20 people standing around the TV.  After the shuttle exploded, all of us were utterly speechless until someone said, in a hopeful voice, "maybe it's supposed to do that..?"
 
2014-01-18 11:06:09 AM

blacksho89: It was my day off, and I celebrated with a wake-n-bake, so it was very unreal.


I had worked overnight, drank a bottle of wine after I got off, as usual, and when it happened I got up out of bed and came out to yell at my housemates, because they'd turned the TV up really loud and woken me up. Boy, did I shut up fast.
 
2014-01-18 11:09:26 AM
Was at lunch in elementary school when the principal went around telling everyone what had happened.

Living in the most obvious first-strike target city in the United States at the time my table mates thought it was the Soviets before we knew any further details.
 
2014-01-18 11:09:29 AM
Watching it in an aeronautics class taught by an ex-NASA flight instructor who knew some of the astronauts.  That was a rough day.
 
2014-01-18 11:12:59 AM
I was in Jr. High.  My dad had come to get me (we were going to go to Florida that evening) and he told me in the school office.  I remember asking him if the astronauts were ok.  They were not. I was stunned.

I was a science-y dorky kid (and now on Fark? Youdontsay.jpg) and this was a very big deal. Even today,   "Challenger go at throttle up" gets to me.
 
2014-01-18 11:13:01 AM
I was at work in my office/shop, WBCN broke the news. We went to an upstairs office and tried to tune in  a shiatty black and white portable TV. Design and Engineering (4 20-somethings) walked over to the industrial park bar and watched for an hour or so.
Back then, "What were Christa McCauliff's last words?" jokes came by fax machine.
 
2014-01-18 11:17:01 AM
I was in fifth grade, and had stayed home sick from school.  Or, it may have been a snow day.

Anyway, I watched it live on the TV in my parent's bedroom.  This was when shuttle launches were still a big deal, and thanks to the Sunday ritual of watching Star Trek with my Dad, I was very into science.

The one thing I'll never forget is Dan Rather fumbling around with a model, getting the fuel tank mixed up with the boosters.

The hindsight of being in broadcasting lends some understanding that he was in a tough spot.

But in the moment, I was mad at him for being not only an adult, but someone of "authority", and not knowing any better how the shuttle worked.
 
2014-01-18 11:17:51 AM
Just got home from working the graveyard shift, was watching it more or less because there was nothing else more interesting as I got ready to crash. I didn't get any sleep before my next shift.
 
2014-01-18 11:18:05 AM
8th Grade history class.  The superintendent (small town school) came on the intercom and told the teacher that he should turn on the TV. Very sad.
 
2014-01-18 11:18:08 AM
I was a junior in high school at the time, and was home that day, as school had been cancelled due to heavy snow (southwestern Pennsylvania).  I didn't see it live, but my mom (also home because she was a teacher at the same school) did, and told me about it.  Spent the rest of the day watching the news coverage - remember a friend recording a lot of it on his VCR - I probably would've done the same, had we had a VCR at the time, but we didn't have one until the following Christmas...
 
2014-01-18 11:18:25 AM
My heart sinks every time I see something like that and knowing it will be used to hold us back another 10 to 20 years.

/ RIP brave souls.
 
2014-01-18 11:18:48 AM
At home from work, incredibly sick with the flu, watching live as it occurred...

/sad
 
2014-01-18 11:18:53 AM
I was only about 9 months old, so obviously I have no direct memory of it.

That said, it seems like one of my earliest memories, and my parents tell me that as soon as I could talk I wanted to know about rockets and planes, so I assume they taught me about it at a very early age.
 
2014-01-18 11:19:05 AM
I was in a Firestone tire store getting new tires with my now departed grandfather and watched it on the stores guest TV.
 
2014-01-18 11:19:16 AM
Sophomore year, in industrial shop class. Our teacher loved the shuttle program and wanted us all to watch it. We stayed at school, but it was the subject of discussion in every class that day.
 
2014-01-18 11:23:35 AM

nekom: Orion5k: I wasn't even a seed in my father's balls. But in honesty, I read these posts and realize that the Challenger had an impact on people in the same way that 9/11 did for me. The memory is forever in my brain. I love history, and it's always astonishing to learn of the events and connections that burn themselves into the collective psyche. I never knew that this launch was so important, but thank you all for your input. I've seen the footage, but now am able to apply the emotions. This has been a lesson for me.

I don't really think I'd compare the two.  Prior to Challenger we'd had the Apollo I fire.  Nobody didn't know that space travel was risky.  9/11 stunned the world and forever changed the geopolitical paradigm.  Challenger was simply a tragedy in exploration.


The only similarity with 9/11 was wall-to-wall TV coverage repeating the same footage. The space program had symbolized national success and Challenger punched the hole in that with the worst space disaster ever. There was some disgust that NASA has falsely sold the idea that the shuttle was an Arthur C. Clarkeian space airline with routine flights:  it lands like an airplane, the crew doesn't have to wear spacesuits, and now, look even ordinary civilians can ride it! But Challenger was mainly just about the space program. Some people made superficial comparisons with Chernobyl, the same year, about technology run amok (though the incompetence and recklessness at Chernobyl was far beyond NASA).

9/11 was a day of intense fear, all day, because of the second attack at the Pentagon followed by constant rumors that more attacks were underway. Air Force One flew to secret location after secret location and all civilian flights were grounded. And then the aftereffects:  we gave the executive branch the power to secretly redefine the Bill of Rights, gave states and cities more money to militarize police, openly invaded two countries and covertly entered and bombed more. When the space shuttle Columbia went down, fairly early in the post-9/11 world, you could sense America's disaster fatigue and lingering numbness. It was awful again, but we just couldn't feel as much as we did about Challenger.
 
2014-01-18 11:23:36 AM
That was the day that a pest control employee was making the rounds at my apartment complex.  He was given a pass key and was not accompanied by the apartment manager.  The asshole stole 80 buck from my dresser drawer and then proceeded start masturbating to an copy of Hustler magazine that featured a Frank Zappa 'ThingFish' layout.(autographed by Ike Willis)
good times good times
 
2014-01-18 11:24:17 AM
I was a service electrician watching with a customer on their tv. I had earned my journeyman's degree the year before and was now making decent money (this was just before the first round of illegal immigrant amnesty in CA drove all the trade jobs' wages from $20 to $10 per hour). Within three years I was out of the electrical field and had my first modern computer - the rest is prehistory. It was a weird, extremely bright and sunny, very sad day.
 
2014-01-18 11:24:30 AM

nekom: I don't really think I'd compare the two.  Prior to Challenger we'd had the Apollo I fire.  Nobody didn't know that space travel was risky.  9/11 stunned the world and forever changed the geopolitical paradigm.  Challenger was simply a tragedy in exploration.


Great, short (2:16) vid about the highs and lows of exploration: Per Aspera Ad Astra
 
2014-01-18 11:26:30 AM
Oh, I forgot my tangential CSB to the shuttle program:

A mere 9 or so years later, I had a job at a Trimac tanker terminal in my hometown of Louisville.  The compound that binds the components of the solid fuel in the boosters is made there, and we hauled it.  Its called P-BAN.

So, we had to get the tank trailers (I worked on the wash rack) clean enough to "haul the cure for cancer" before they could take the load to FL.  Then, when the tank came back, we had to clean them out.  Shiat was STICKY, like super-mega concentrated pitch or tar or something.
 
2014-01-18 11:30:41 AM
I was already old and the weight of the world had already crushed my little spirit.
 
2014-01-18 11:32:21 AM
I was a young teen at the time. I was at my father's that day and we were sitting around watching the launch on tv. No one said much afterwards. We just kind of stared at the tv in shock and horror. I don't really remember anything about the rest of the day but that moment is seared into my memory forever. I still get this sinking feeling whenever that day is brought up(same with Columbia...and 9/11). Knowing that incompetence/negligence contributed to the Challenger disaster still angers me. Until this thread I'd never heard they might have survived the initial event and died on impact with the water though. How utterly horrifying! Dying instantly in the initial explosion would have been merciful.
 
2014-01-18 11:32:43 AM
I was home "sick" from school in 7th grade, had the radio on in the basement when I heard the news come across. I ran upstairs and my mom had it on the tv.
 
2014-01-18 11:35:06 AM
I read this on or through a story on Fark once.


"At what point did we forget that the Space Shuttle was, essentially, a program that strapped human beings to an explosion and tried to stab through the sky with fire and math?"
 
2014-01-18 11:38:11 AM
I was 23 years old and my parents from Ohio happened to be visiting me in NY that day.  We were just chilling watching "The Price is Right" when it was interrupted by Dan Rather with a CBS News Special Report...looking back I was glad that someone was there with me to talk and share the sadness with.
 
2014-01-18 11:41:11 AM
Freshman in a terrible high school. My dad worked on the communication relays. In Huntsville, Alabama, every dad came home kinda broken that day. The next day, we began crafting the jokes...
 
2014-01-18 11:41:23 AM
My whole Kindergarten class watched it
 
2014-01-18 11:43:01 AM
I was in 7th grade, I'd just gotten to school and was getting my first period books from my locker when my friend told me the shuttle had exploded on liftoff. I thought he was kidding until a bit later when they announced it over the school PA.
 
2014-01-18 11:46:42 AM
I was in 6th grade at Holly Hilly Elementary in Daytona Beach, Florida.  I saw it blow up in the sky.
 
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