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Mon Jan 28, 2019, 06:51 AM

The Challenger explosion happened 33 years ago today.

A day that I remember vividly. I was in the Army stationed in Georgia.

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Reply The Challenger explosion happened 33 years ago today. (Original post)
imanamerican63 Jan 2019 OP
CottonBear Jan 2019 #1
Tommy_Carcetti Jan 2019 #2
duforsure Jan 2019 #3
dewsgirl Jan 2019 #4
hlthe2b Jan 2019 #5
lpbk2713 Jan 2019 #6
chwaliszewski Jan 2019 #7
mgardener Jan 2019 #8
Javaman Jan 2019 #9
Roy Rolling Jan 2019 #10
forgotmylogin Jan 2019 #11
Polybius Jan 2019 #23
JI7 Jan 2019 #12
sarge43 Jan 2019 #13
jimlup Jan 2019 #14
lillypaddle Jan 2019 #15
Joe941 Jan 2019 #16
CaptainTruth Jan 2019 #17
skydive forever Jan 2019 #18
Blue_Tires Jan 2019 #19
musette_sf Jan 2019 #20
riversedge Jan 2019 #30
PeeJ52 Jan 2019 #21
MyOwnPeace Jan 2019 #22
FakeNoose Jan 2019 #37
Phentex Jan 2019 #24
Auggie Jan 2019 #25
4TheArts Jan 2019 #26
B Stieg Jan 2019 #27
bluedigger Jan 2019 #28
riversedge Jan 2019 #29
kimbutgar Jan 2019 #31
treestar Jan 2019 #32
RobinA Jan 2019 #33
LongtimeAZDem Jan 2019 #34
onenote Jan 2019 #35
LongtimeAZDem Jan 2019 #38
leftyladyfrommo Jan 2019 #41
Awsi Dooger Jan 2019 #36
Hong Kong Cavalier Jan 2019 #39
leftyladyfrommo Jan 2019 #40

Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 06:57 AM

1. I remember exactly where I was on that terrible day.

I was in college in Georgia. I was in the library.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 07:10 AM

2. I actually saw it in person.

My family was on vacation in Florida at the time. We pulled over on the side of the road to see it go off.

We didnít know anything had gone wrong until we got back in the car and turned on the radio.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 07:14 AM

3. I remember watching that on live tv

And was absolutely stunned as were others I was around. Knew someone up the street from me that worked at Nasa and knew all these people.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 07:17 AM

4. I was in the 3rd grade, we watched from the basket ball

Courts outside. I remember all the hype from the teachers/principal, the first teacher in space. When the explosion happened, they told us it was the O ring seperating. But most of us even at that age, had seen dozens of shuttle launches we knew something was wrong..they ushered is inside, just in time for our principal to announce through tears, that the Challenger was lost. It still gives me goosebumps to think back on that tragic day.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 07:27 AM

5. I remember it vividly. I wish I didn't, frankly.

At least I was waay too young to grasp much of what happened when Kennedy was assassinated, but though I was at work and not watching on tv, I had been following that mission closely. It was devastating.

I will say that at least Reagan, (someone for whom I had great disdain) had the emotional depth to understand the loss, especially of the school teacher, Christa McAuliffe. I can not fathom the added devastation that would come from having Trump speak on a similar horror.

May they all be in some wonderful realm where they might guide the next generation of problem solvers.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 08:20 AM

6. I saw it from about 100 miles away.




A co-worker and I were walking across a coffee shop parking lot. We stopped as we saw it launch and then it made a fleur de lis. We knew that wasn't good. We saw some of the bigger peices spiraling toward the ground. We felt bad for the families. We didn't say much over our coffee.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 08:45 AM

7. I was stationed at NAS Fallon, NV

Horrible day.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 08:59 AM

8. I was a school nurse

Had to help write a statement very quickly to explain to the kids.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 08:59 AM

9. I just sat down my cobol class and the professor announced it. nt

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:01 AM

10. Wall Steet (remotely)

I was trading for clients and the report came across the news wire. Like everyone else, that moment is etched in my mind forever, along with the JFK assassination and 9/11.

And, of course, that Monday Night Football bulletin of December 8, 1980.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:03 AM

11. I was home sick from school that day.

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Response to forgotmylogin (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:46 AM

23. I was too

I watched it on TV in my living room as a kid.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:05 AM

12. remember teachers trying to explain/comfort us

but its weird since I can't remember the before part of it.

I was about 7

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:09 AM

13. I was driving to class at the university.

It was announced on radio, then the station started to play Barber's Adagio. I had to pull over.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:11 AM

14. Yes, I remember it very well ... It was a very unusual day

I got my first real job. I was an intern. My boss came in with a very somber expression on his face and handed me the letter with my job offer. He had been listening to the launch and he just said that the Challenger had exploded.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:13 AM

15. We were in a management meeting that morning

Same thing during the OKC bombing.

Horrendous events.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:14 AM

16. I remember it well...

 

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:30 AM

17. I remember. Sadly, both shuttle disasters were caused by launching in cold temperatures.

Colder than what was specified as safe, but engineers were overruled. In one case it was too cold for O-rings in boosters to seal properly. In the other case chunks of ice fell off & damaged a wing.

Both could have been prevented by waiting for a warmer day.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:32 AM

18. I got laid off because of that

At the time I was working for a company called USBI at Kennedy Space Center building the TVC system for the solid rocket boosters. Didnít go back to the space center for 3 years where I actually built the SRBs for the duration of the shuttle program.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:33 AM

19. And yesterday was the anniversary of the Apollo I Fire in 1967

r.i.p.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:38 AM

20. I remember it very well.

I was living in southwest Houston and working as a server at a sports bar/restaurant owned by Dan Patrick. (Yes, THAT Dan Patrick, who is now incomprehensibly the insane Lt Gov of Texas.)

I was relatively new to the place so I got the crappy shifts, and weekday lunchtime was the crappiest of the crappy shifts. Low volume and terrible tipping.

Being a sports bar, the place had a giant TV screen over the dining area. The explosion played out over and over, endlessly, over the big screen.

Sadly, I made the best tips that day that I ever made on that shift. People left work for the day, started drinking immediately, and stayed all afternoon into the evening. Houston, of course, is emotionally tied as a city to NASA, so it felt personal to us.

Such a waste, only because a president* wanted a positive story right THEN just before SOTU, regardless of what the experts said about the risks of the launch under those weather conditions.

(Many years later I participated in an offsite business skills training session, in which the group was broken into teams to do an exercise on decision making and risk taking. The scenario was an auto race with dragsters, and your team had to decide whether a certain super high performance car should race or not. If it didn't race, the owner stood to lose a pile of dough. Just before the analysis for the decision began, the facilitator added to the scenario that there had been "freezing conditions the night before", and this particular configuration had not been raced before under those conditions. Being the only person on my team old enough to remember the specifics reported in real time, I told them, "This is Challenger! We will not race!" So the facilitator went around the room and asked each team for their go/no-go decision. We were the only team that gave a no-go. And then he said, "This is the only team that chose correctly. This is the Challenger space shuttle scenario." )

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Response to musette_sf (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 10:09 AM

30. Thanks for your good story.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:39 AM

21. I was across the state in Bradenton, FL, leaving for lunch with a friend...

 

I said, "hey look, the shuttle is going off", as we looked to the right. The sky was so blue and you could see it clear as a bell. Then we saw the Y shaped plume of the vapor trail and knew something went wrong and headed for the diner. So sad. We had taken so many liftoffs for granted....

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:45 AM

22. I was teaching First Grade.......

We had brought the TV into the room to have all of the first graders watch the launch and see a teacher go into space. Because of "delays" in the launch, we had to take the kids to the cafeteria for lunch and NOT see the launch.
At least I was spared explaining that sadness and shock to the little ones.

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Response to MyOwnPeace (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 01:11 PM

37. Oh my, that would have been awful

Those little kids would have been traumatized. It was still a terrible, terrible day though.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:53 AM

24. It was one of those things where I didn't trust my eyes...

I was watching it as it happened and even though my brain was telling me something wasn't right, my eyes were watching trying to figure out what I just saw. It was such an odd feeling. I think one of the commentators said something about a malfunction but said it in such a calm voice I was still thinking what the hell just happened?

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:56 AM

25. 8:39 am in California. My fiancee was driving me to work and we heard on radio.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 10:00 AM

26. Watched from an upstairs picture window.

A sudden sinking feeling. Next thought was the teacher on board. A horrible day.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 10:03 AM

27. I was teaching 9th grade at a boy's school.

Saw it on the TV set in the assistant principal's office as I was free first period.
I still remember that it took under an hour for the first shuttle jokes to start circulating.
Mass shock in the student center.
I'll never forget that day or the O rings that failed on the booster rocket...

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 10:03 AM

28. I was in the Army in Germany.

I hated seeing the flag go to half mast at reveille formation.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 10:05 AM

29. We had a blizzard in ND. No classes, so great opportunity to actually watch the

spacecraft take off. I recall the puzzlement of the reporters--then the horrible truth.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 11:18 AM

31. Was working in a bank and a guy ran in and told us the challenger blew up

I was interested in that particular because of the first teacher in space.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 11:22 AM

32. Heard it on the car radio driving to work

I couldn't imagine it, but saw it on the news that evening.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 12:43 PM

33. I Was In Atlanta

visiting my cousin. I remember the cold snap, because everybody down there was freaking out about how cold it was. We just laughed, we were from PA. We had actually raced the cold air down I-95 from Philadelphia because it was rainy and we didn't want snow to overtake us. Cars were passing us covered with snow. My cousin worked for Delta second shift so we were going to bed late and waking up late that week. His friend called to tell him to turn on the TV. We must have seen it a zillion times that day.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 12:55 PM

34. I have always held that this is a root of a fundamental difference between Boomers and Millenials

When we were young, we saw the triumph of men walking on the Moon; when Millennials were similar ages, they saw the horrible tragedy of the Challenger disaster.

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Response to LongtimeAZDem (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 12:59 PM

35. We boomers experienced a lot of horrible tragedies

The assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK Jr. The Apollo 1 fire.
Violence during the Civil Rights movement, including the Mississippi murders, the church bombings, etc.
Nightly footage of the war in Vietnam.


Maybe we didn't see all of those things "live" as they happened (except for the shooting of Jack Ruby), but we saw a number of them on film over and over.

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Response to onenote (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 02:23 PM

38. Agreed, but we also saw great achievement and promise, from Apollo to Woodstock

Your point about Vietnam is well taken though; seeing it on the news every night led to a widespread desire to end war. One of the most heinous things G.H.W. Bush did was to sanitize television coverage of the Gulf War, making it palatable again.

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Response to onenote (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 02:41 PM

41. We also grew up under the constant threat of nuclear war.

And all those assassinations. All those awful funerals with the black horses and the hearses. And John standing there saluting.

And the awful years of the Vietnam war and so many friends not coming home.

But we survived.

I did not live thru that to have some dumb assholes ruin our country because they have no morals and no ethics.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 01:09 PM

36. I was in Las Vegas -- woke up late -- and my roommate didn't mention it for hours

 

Nice apartment but we only had one television. My roommate Bobby Bryde was on the couch watching rented movies with his girlfriend. It was a comedy so I sat down and watched the end of it, while still groggy. Then we watched another comedy movie.

I had no reason to believe anything had happened. Then at the end of the second movie Bobby perks up. "Oh, did you hear? Did you hear about the space shuttle? It blew up."

Bobby frantically clicked the channel to CNN as I sat there in astonishment. I couldn't believe he didn't think it was significant enough to mention when I walked out there hours earlier. Likewise it never dawned on his girlfriend to say anything.

Bobby was a good guy. Huge hockey fan. Normally I didn't get to watch television in the apartment because he always had a hockey tape from a night earlier. Bobby was just starting as a hockey handicapper in 1986. He ended up gaining lots of Las Vegas notoriety along those lines. He was nicknamed, "Herr Hockeymeister" and had an annual hockey betting guide that was very popular. He transitioned to the internet well. Unfortunately Bobby got cancer and died young maybe 13 or 14 years ago. When he died I posted several anecdotes on the gambling site tributes to him, including about that day when the Challenger blew up.



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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 02:24 PM

39. I was in Junior high...

...and I thought my friends were joking when they told me during lunch.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 02:35 PM

40. Boy do I remember that day. And then the news played

it over and over and over. It was Wful.

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