Saturday, January 28, 2012

This Day in History January 28, 1986

I don't think I will ever forget this day.  I remember where I was.  I was home sick on this date.  The TV was on, and suddenly, the program was interrupted, and this is what I saw.

Yes, it was on this date in 1986 that the Challenger broke apart just 73 seconds after lift-off.  This was that fateful mission where the first educator astronaut was chosen.  The cause of the accident was a failed O-ring. I remember how the Space Shuttle program stopped for some time--almost three years.

What I didn't realize is that some of the astronauts evidently survived the initial explosion, but of course, none survived the cabin's hitting the Atlantic Ocean.  I cannot imagine how horrible that would have been.  There was no escape plan.  And it is even worse to realize that this fatal flaw was known about since the 1970's.

I will never forget this date.  I remember getting up and calling out to my mom who was hanging out laundry or something like that.  And sadly, it was not the last Space Shuttle disaster.

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