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Challenger anniversary

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by makikiboy, Jan 29, 2016.

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  1. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    30 years ago I was a hot shot (or so I thought I was) computer programmer in an up and coming field (computers). I was fortunate because one of my users happened to be Ellison Onizuka's older sister. I did mention to her my admiration of Ellison and how lucky he was to be an astronaut and got to go into space. She was more reserved so didn't really say much about him or his accomplishments but we did chat about him and how he felt when he first went into space (unfortunately his first mission was a classified dept of defense mission so not much could be said other than how he felt when he was in space).

    When I was younger I was always a science geek and regularly followed the US space program. As a grade schooler I stayed up all night (Hawaii time) just to watch the moon landing, barely keeping my eyes open when Armstrong stepped off the lunar module onto the surface of the moon. I would shoot off model rockets and like most kids of that era I always dreamt of going into space or going to the moon one day.

    For me it was neat to know someone related to a "famous" person and I was happy to see someone from Hawaii get another chance to go back into space, this time a well publicized event complete with a teacher going into space.

    With a 5 hour time difference I awoke to find that something happened to the Challenger shuttle. I stayed home from work that day to watch the continuing disaster story, checking to see if I could figure out what caused the shuttle to explode. It was sad to see something bad happen to one of my "heroes" and like most of us couldn't believe it would happen to an illustrious program like NASA.

    Hard to believe that its been 30 years since that disaster. Also hard to believe that I'm now an "old fart" that is a few years from retirement. In between I did get to fulfill part of my dream and visit Kenney Space Center, my first trip there was a few months after the shuttle returned to space so there was a lot of excitement for the program.

    I still get a tear in my eye whenever I see a replay of the disaster.
     
  2. WestTexas

    WestTexas Low-Roller

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    I actually remember watching the tragic event happen live on TV. I was about to go to boot camp for the Navy in a few days. I was in shock when it happened. They televised them in the past and I never got to watch it live. It was sad that was the one I got to see live.
     
  3. wormhole

    wormhole Low-Roller

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    I visited the Kennedy space center shortly before the launch and saw Challenger on the launch pad. I wasn't able to stay for the launch, but was upset when the accident happened, especially after seeing it on the launch pad.
     
  4. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I was in grade school. We didn't watch the launch live but we came into the library to watch the coverage after together.
     
  5. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    1st grade class at a catholic school...it was a big deal because of Christa McAuliffe being a teacher...so we watched live.

    The explosion was surreal. We didn't know what happened but the nuns did and we went to mass shortly thereafter to pray.
     
  6. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    I was inspecting the Navy Recruiting Station at NAS Willow Grove when one of the recruiters calls out "OMG, the shuttle just blew up!" Watched the coverage for a while on their tv. Surreal.
     
  7. grosx2

    grosx2 VIP Whale

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    The most gut-wrenching part is that, since the explosion originated in the external fuel tank, the fortified crew cabin remained largely intact, and most of, if not all the crew members were probably alive and conscious until the cabin hit the ocean surface.

    I was only 2 when Challenger failed, but I remember watching the Columbia disaster unfold when I was in college. It hit me in a way that no other tragic news story had.

    For my money, astronauts are about as brave as they come, performing some of the most dangerous work there is, but also the most important to the long-term survival of the human species.
     
  8. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    I read a story this morning about one of the Thiokol engineers who voiced his concerns to his superiors leading up to the launch but was not listened to. He told his wife the night before there would be an accident because of the o-rings and the temperature. He said NASA pushed the launch through despite knowing the risk.
     
  9. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    vvvv you'll think you're an old fart when you look below vvvvv

    punk kid GET OFF MY LAWN:wink2:

    we were in 11th grade Calculus class and because it was a teacher on board our Math teacher had us watch it
    you could hear a pin drop in that room

    If you haven't seen it already? watch this movie
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2421662/
     
  10. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Not only will I not get off your lawn...I will do donuts in front of your house! :evillaugh

    Thanks for the recommendation on the movie. Gonna go search for it on Netflix
     
  11. Big dan

    Big dan Low-Roller

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    I was in third or fourth grade and we watched it live on tv and I still remember how the teachers were in tears and of course as an 8 year old boy I thought it was cool.
     
  12. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    Makiki, you and I are of same age. Yes, I know, we're getting up there, lol!

    But seriously, I remember getting ready for work while watching the live televised launch. When the Challenger exploded I remember looking at the screen with a puzzled look, thinking "This can't be right....". It took a while for the television commenter to realize that something went wrong. When the initial shock wore off and it finally dawned as to what happened, I couldn't hear the words being said as my head started spinning and the t.v. screen became blurred from the tears in my eyes.

    You never forget seeing stuff like that.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  13. KellyLovesVegas

    KellyLovesVegas certified personal trainer/retired space nerd

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    When Challenger exploded on lift-off I was a young R&D chemist working in my first professional job, doing catalyst development at a major chemical corporation in Kansas. The loss of Challenger was shocking and very sad.

    Thirteen years ago today (Feb 1, 2003) Columbia exploded on re-entry. At the time I was a systems engineer on a non-NASA program here in Houston. (Prior to that assignment I'd spent 3+ years as a systems engineer for the International Space Station. I would spend the last 5 years prior to retirement working on the shuttle replacement vehicle.) In the weeks and months after Columbia it was a very sad time to live in the Clear Lake area. This is the area where the astronauts lived with their families. It was as if grief permeated the entire area.
     
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