I haven’t said anything about the shuttle yet, so I guess it’s time I posted something.
I still remember when Challenger was lost. I was only 10 years old, so I think I was in the fifth grade. I remember being in a class room and someone rolled in a TV and we all watched in horror as the shuttle exploded. I went home after school and that’s all that was on TV, just the shuttle exploding over and over. My mom bought a copy of the newspaper with that picture on the cover and I’ve kept it to this day.
Things were different back then – I never thought about war or terrorism or anything like that. These days we see terrible things on TV every day. It’s almost common now to see something blow up, or at least see the aftermath of destruction. But watching Columbia break up on reentry was very different. Not only were 7 lives lost, but the future of our space program was again put in jeopardy. Humans are natural explorers and investigators, and I believe that space exploration is one of the most important things we can do. Hopefully this event will spur strong support for NASA and we’ll be able to finally replace the 20+ year old shuttles.
If you haven’t been following the investigation, there’s an article in Aviation Week that sums up the progress so far. It’s worth a read.
I guess I need to put the newspaper article from this tragedy in the scrap book with my clippings about Challenger. Hopefully I won’t have to open that book again for a long time.