Wednesday, January 29, 2014


January 28, 1986 an o-ring in one of the boosters failed and when the leak was ignited, the ship blew up, killing the crew of the NASA shuttle Challenger.

It was a terrible tragedy. I am reminded of this quote:
“I guess the question I'm asked the most often is: "When you were sitting in that capsule listening to the count-down, how did you feel?" Well, the answer to that one is easy. I felt exactly how you would feel if you were getting ready to launch and knew you were sitting on top of two million parts -- all built by the lowest bidder on a government contract.” ― John Glenn
The astronauts knew the risks and went right on doing their jobs. Valor, bravery, whatever - but they deserve to not be forgotten.

I'll never forget what I was up to when the news was announced. I and my compadre were headed somewhere north of Hays to pick up a couple loads of milo. He was more or less my mentor, and I his apprentice - I hadn't been in trucking very long. The electronics in the truck I was driving were kinda strange - if I had my music radio on loud enough to hear, my CB would feed back if I talked on it. So when RJ felt like giving me his opinion on something, I had to turn down the music radio to respond. I'd been kinda going back and forth, and the news broke. He chose that moment to expound on some subject or another, and I told him to hold on a minute - there was some important news breaking. He did not take the hint, and was kinda miffed that I even asked him to quiet down momentarily. I finally told him to shut up - I was turning my CB off until I heard all about the shuttle explosion. He was not happy with me at all.

I didn't care. I don't much care now. I remember the news, and I'd bet he does as well, far more than whatever subject he had determined was so damned important. He got over it. The shuttle crew did not.

So, give 'em a prayer or shoot some positive karma their way, or whatever - honor them in some way today.

Oh, and there is in interesting interactive timeline here if you want to check it out. Only thing - if you leave that page open, it auto refreshes and it's a memory hog - big time.


threecollie said...

Standing at the parts counter at a now-defunct milking equipment dealer...expecting Liz at the time. Not a moment to be forgotten.

Moms Musings said...

I had just turned the kitchen radio on. The announcer's voice sounded strange so I called to my husband to turn the TV on, "something happened."

Dad Bones said...

I saw it. I was down in Titusville, Florida, looking for a job. I was poring over help wanted ads in a parking lot when a guy walked up to me and pointed to the sky. "What the hell is that?" he said. "Uh, the Challenger?" I replied. "It just blew up!" he yelled and walked away.

I had planned to watch the launch but it was delayed so I went on my job hunt. Standing underneath it and staring at it probably didn't feel much different to me than to those who saw it on TV. We all knew it was a big deal, a national tragedy.

DFW said...

I was standing in my bosses corner office in Jacksonville, FL, watching it rise into the sky. It was such a clear & beautiful day, we could see it so clearly. When it happened one of our VPs, a pilot from Australia, said in his most Aussie accent "That's not right".

drjim said...

Working at Hughes Aircraft when one of my buddies got a call from his Mom.

They announced it over the P.A. system a few minutes later.