Again we mourn the heroes of the heavens

I guess losing the Columbia reminds many Gunters of the Challenger accident, which occured while most of us were in college. I’m interested in sharing thoughts from both then and now.

In January of 1986, I was a co-op working for IBM in Boca Raton, Florida. As it was pre-Internet (as it is now), we heard via the buzz spreading through the office that the Challenger had exploded on liftoff. We all went out to the parking lot and could see the long streak of white against the blue, blue sky. For the rest of the day, all we could do was check the radio to see if there was more information, but most of us had to wait until we got home to watch it on the evening news. Sometime during that week, the word came out for everyone to drive with their lights on during the day, to honor the fallen crew (which might have been a “Florida” thing because the accident happened there).

Saturday’s initial information came via an NPR special broadcast, while I drove with my wife and 3 kids (none of whom existed to me in 1986) to the grocery store.

Different time, different place, different life really, but the same feelings of loss. Godspeed.

-Glen

One thought on “Again we mourn the heroes of the heavens

  1. This is what I put in the morning report today:

    For the third time, the United States has lost astronauts during a mission. We can only hope that this leads to major changes in the way NASA operates, and not to the end of the US space program. The shuttle program is and has been severely flawed, and the technology used is now thirty years old. There really is no “one size fits all” solution for space travel, and the program would be far better served if NASA administrators would recognize and acknowledge that fact.

    It seems appropriate to me that today’s links will be to all three of the NASA disasters.
    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/Apollo204/
    http://www.fas.org/spp/51L.html
    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/shuttle/index.html

    When I was in high school, I wanted to go to the Naval Academy and become a pilot, and maybe even an astronaut. Failing the eye test put an end to that dream. I still hope that someday I’ll get to go to space; once the price tag comes down from the current $20 million.

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