Friday, January 28, 2011
25th Anniversary of the Challenger Disaster
I was getting ready for a job interview. I'm a serious space junkie and as a proud TK (teacher's kid) remembered it was launch day for the Challenger. I flipped the TV to CNN expecting to see the launch of the Teacher In Space mission.
I'd just missed it and didn't see it live. I flipped it on in the middle of commentators talking in gloom and doom terms and thought to myself, "Damn, they're speaking as if something happened to the Challenger."
Probably thirty seconds after that thought raced across my brain they repeated the tape of the launch and I finally got to see the horrific tragedy of NASA losing the most diverse crew it had ever launched into space
Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnick, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis, and S. Christa McAuliffe. Rest in peace.
Because it was the Teacher in Space mission, that tragedy was magnified by the fact that schoolkids across the nation saw it live on television as well
Needless to say I got a call a few moments later and the job interview I was supposed to go on got canceled.
It was NASA's 25th space shuttle mission, and the resulting investigation of the tragedy led to a two year shutdown and review of he space shuttle program. It was a reminder that when done correctly, space flight looks easy, but one mistake or inattention to detail can cost lives.
For the human race to survive and continue to exist and evolve we must expand off this little blue rock we call home. We must expand our reach across the stars, explore our galactic neighborhood and beyond, and learn how to live on other planets otherwise the deaths of the Challenger crew, the Apollo 1 crew and the Columbia crew will have been in vain.