Memories of the Challenger

This is one page of many, check out the intro at I Remember Challenger for others.

This page currently edited by: Dagwood. Past editor: Junior

My wife and I had tickets to see the Challenger lift off on Saturday, and clearly remember it sitting on the launchpad astride the huge fuel tank. We were naturally disappointed when it was cancelled due to the alternate emergency landing site in Spain being overcast with bad weather. However, the temperature on Saturday morning was not as cold as on Monday morning when the launch actually occurred, when the O-rings were affected by the low temperatures and burst, causing the accident. By then, we were back home across the country, and I was at work in a staff meeting, about to experience that moment we would remember forever, when we found out about the tragedy. We can only wonder what would have happened if the launch had gone off as planned on Saturday, instead.

From: Mike Williams

I remember the Challenger explosion. I believe I was 9 years old. I was in my third grade classroom watching the television from my front row seat. One of my first thoughts was, there was a teacher on that ship. It was very eerie because I had a social worker that resembled her. Now-a-days, I come across columns and articles like the one on this page that really spark a memory. In my preschool classroom, I came across a transportation vehicle book with a space shuttle in it. You could imagine my surprise when I saw "Challenger" written on it's side. I was able to share a bit about that shuttle with one of my students, telling him/her that it was a very famous shuttle.

From: Lex

That is a moment I will never forget! I was in seventh grade and we were watching it live in Science class. A boy in my class had a relative on board. I can't remember which astronaut or the relation. All I can remember is the traumatic moment of the explosion and the teacher running to turn it off. He got up and left the classroom and the rest of us just sat crying silently.

From: Tiffany

Of course. The Challenger Accident. What child of the 80s does not remember what they were doing when they *gasp* heard the news? Like many, I was in elementary school, second grade, right at the very point in one's life where one is absolutely convinced that one will become an astronaut when one grows up. The hype about the space program was so huge at that time, and being 7 years old, it permiated everything. I coveted my younger sister's astonaut Cabbage Patch Kid... Anyway. We weren't watching the events on TV. No, our class was in the midst of French lessons (Yuppie private school), when someone (why do I remember it being another kid?) came into our classroom and told us that the Challenger had exploded. And all hell broke loose. Kids crying. Teachers attempting to explain the situation. Wondering if the astonauts had parachutes and were able to escape... And that's when I decided that being an astronaut probably wasn't such a great idea.

From: Sarah Goodman

I just have 5 years old, the impression when I watch the explossion on TV makes me terror!!! In all the world we are so depressed

From: David from Costa Rica

I was in the 6th grade, and at school on the day that we got word about the shuttle disaster. I remember coming home from school and turning on the TV to watch Tom Brokaw talking about the shuttle disaster, showing the video again and again, with experts trying to figure out what might have caused it. I watched it for probably 3 hours that evening. The incident affected me a lot. It was such a shock for something like that to happen, and it was very sad because of the people who died, one of them being the teacher, Christa McAuliffe. It was also a great setback for NASA, seems like it was a long time before they did anymore shuttle missions.

From: Paula

I was in either kinder or first. I was watching it on tv b/c the teacher was on it. Then, when it exploded, the teachers turned it off and didn't tell us what happened.

From: Rebekah

I had just turned 6 years old 8 days prior to the accident. I was in kindergarten and we got to watch the launch on tv. I remember sitting on the carpet watching the shuttle take off then explode. We watched the news for the rest of the day. My mom still has the newspaper from the next day.

From: Jamie

I was sitting in my first grade classroom when the principle made the announcement over the intercom..

From: Kelley Monte

I was in the library at Del Norte High in Crescent City, CA. I was doing something for Mrs. Edinger. It was my first wakeup call to Dan Rather. I was numb for a long time. Through them we will learn life is short.

From: connie paystrup

I know this may be seen as over the top, but back when the Challenger disaster happened, my friends and I were certain the Libyans had done it.

From: Whipple

I was 26 years old at the time of the Challenger disaster and was on my way to a job interview at an electronics store. While waiting in the lobby, the receptionists radio broadcast was interrupted by the report of the Challenger explosion. When it was time for my interview, which was to take place in the display area of the store, ALL TV's were carrying footage of the explosion and the shock and disbelief on the faces of those on the ground near the launch site. We got very emotional at the store as well.

From: Dennis Boddie

I was a freshman in high school. They had a TV set up in the library and it seemed there was as many classmates around that TV as possible. It was between classes if I remember correctly. I was walking by the library and peaked in to catch a look at it going up but I was too late. The explosion had already happened and everyone was really horrified. There were a few people crying. Most of us were just in shock. Looking back now, it all seemed so innocent, there was not any talk of terrorists that I can remember, we just all wondered how this could have happened... I taped as much TV coverage of it as possible and sometimes, when I have moved from place to place and see all my old VHS tapes, I will pop one in to the VCR and watch a little of it. Crazy, just crazy our very own, best of the best could let this happen. When the second shuttle blew up it brought back a lot of those old memories. I just kept thinking, how did they all do on the way up and the most recent time, how did they all do on the way down. Hoped and prayed none of our brave astronauts didn't suffer... May God bless them and keep them, one and all.

From: Lance McD.

Jan. 28, 1986 is a date that I will NEVER forget. I was in the third grade and knew today was the day of the first teacher in space. I had followed the story closely because I loved the space program. The fourth and fifth graders watched the launch live, then we were to watch the tape. The teacher entered our classroom with a look on his face that is still with me today. He said "it exploded, the shuttle sxploded". This could not be true I thought. As I watched the launch and the explosion, I knew it was not good. The first thing I thought was that it was to early for Solid Rocket Booster (SBR) seperation. At lunch, none of us could eat. What if that was our teacher Mrs. Harn? I went home and waited to hear from our president. He said to leave a light on for seven days as a reminder of our loss. I left our light on for seven days and every Jan 28 since that day. I lost my real mother when I was very young, and I kept thinking about all their children that would have to do the same. Tomorrow I give a speech about Christa McAuliffe in a college class and I know her spirit will be with me. It has been over 17 years since that day, but she is still teaching the children of the world. Good bye CHALLENGER seven, we will never forget you.

From: Samuel John Vaughan

I was in fourth grade when this tragedy happened. Our teachers got us all together to watch it on a television. When it happend, I don't think that any of us understood at the time, but I remember (like it was yesterday) turning around and watching our teachers break down.

From: Becky Bedwell

I'm sitting at my desk in Seminole Oklahoma in the 3rd grade. We are watching the tv that has been specially brought in from outside of the classroom to watch the shuttle launch. There is quite a stir about the launch and although we are very young and people have been to space before, we understand this is special for some reason...a non-astronaut? Maybe that is why everyone is making a big deal...We see the count down and the lift off but shortly thereafter something does wrong. Terribly wrong. The shuttle is no more. It has exploded right before our eyes. There is silence in our 3rd grade room as the teacher quickly turns off the tv and wheels it out of the room. She is gone for awhile as we sit and wonder what has happened. That is all I remember

From: Kimberly

I'm writing a paper on the Challenger disaster and the ethical behavior of the personnel. I remember I was 5 years old, in kindergarten. My entire school went outside to watch the Challenger go up. All of a sudden it exploded. I really didn't understand what happened, but I knew it wasn't good. I started to cry. I looked around and the teachers were crying. Everyone was saying I Challenger exploded, and at that moment I understood. Everyone was in shock. We all went back to the classroom and turned on the tv to watch the news. The entire school was in mourning.

From: Amy

I was born the exact day the Challenger Space Shuttle blew up, only two minutes after. While I do not remember much, I do remember the pain and devestaion that everyone was facing. I am sorry that such a tragic moment in history came to be. But I am somewhat happy that something came out of it. While others were dying, I was born, and at least one life or more was given in the moment of this devastating event.

From: Brittany

I rember it like it was yesterday, I was home getting ready to see my doctor and I was watching it on TV, and now after what happened with Columbia, it all comes back to me.

From: Wences Alcantar

I remember it like yesterday, I was in the 10th grade, 3rd period english - Ms. Kaufmman had just stepped across the hall to run copies of a worksheet, she came back in with a stunned look and told us that the space shuttle had blown up - no one believed her. It was only after seeing the news later that we all truly believed. Will never forget that day.

From: Dave

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