Back on January 28, 1986, I remembered where I was when I heard about the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. I had started my first day at Brooklyn College. When I called my then ex-fiance on my break she told me the news about what had happened. I almost felt myself going numb because I just could not believe something like this could or would ever happen.
Growing up, on career day back in the 8th grade, we had someone come in from the Air Force who talked about the concept and applications of a Space Shuttle Program. I remembered being fully aware about the program and what it could do for the relaunching of Space Program. I had even did a diorama of the Space Shuttle leaving a lunar landscape with an American Flag. The Shuttle really captured my imagination but like anything else, the novelty wore off as numerous shuttle flights occured without incidents. Yet, what made this event even more tragic was seeing the first teacher Christa McAuliffe heading space and never achieving this goal. This is not to say that the rest of the crew was not as important but this landmark flight was the beginning of civilians like you and me to realize that maybe one day, we too can take a journey to the star like Christa.
I still can’t believe that this happen 22 years ago which now with so much has happened to the world since then, this tragic accident will be barely remembered. The shuttle program will be something I will continue to look on with awe and fascination. The brief time I spent living in Winter Park, Florida, I saw a night flight takeoff which was one of the most breathtaking things I have ever witnessed. Plus, on the return home, I had my first and only sonic boom experience which scared the living crap out of me. But I wouldn’t trade it for all the Spice Melange on Dune.
Live Long, Challenger.