Do you know what today marks? Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster.
6 astronauts and 1 teacher were killed that day. If it had succeeded, it would have been the first time a non-astronaut would have made it to space. If you happen to be alive when it happened, I am sure you remember it very well. 73 seconds after launch is when it happened so all the family members who were watching below saw it happened. It had been a very cold morning and the rubber O rings that seal the joint of the shuttle rockets boosters failed causing it to explode.
My mom was one of the ones who saw it happen on live TV. I thought about adding the YouTube video of it since it was aired live but due to what happened, I didn't think that would be very ethical of me to that. You can go watch it yourself if you have never seen it. If you do happen to watch the one that shows the family members, just know they had no idea what had happened at first. It wasn't until about 1 minute later when they didn't see the spaceship anymore did they realize what they just watched. I can't even image witnessing that. The only comfort I would have been able to get is that they had no idea what happened and felt no pain. Because of the intense heat of the fire, they would have been here one second and gone the next.
If you have ever seen the original version of The Dance by Garth Brooks video, you know he adds this moment in time into that video. (I promise to blog about this song one day)
Let's remember the astronauts that day!
Back row: Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist; Sharon Christa McAuliffe, teacher and payload specialist; Gregory Jarvis, payload specialist; Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist
Front row: Mike J. Smith, pilot; Francis (Dick) Scobee, mission specialist; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist
Ronald Reagan spoke that evening on the disaster. Here are 2 parts of his speech that I love so much:
"...And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them..."
"...The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."