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Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster: 28 Years Later

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I remember being in elementary school on January 28th, 1986 being brought into a much bigger classroom where the teachers had set up a T.V. for us to watch the space shuttle Challenger launch. It was exciting. I believe it was the first time a school teacher was allowed to join the NASA crew and become an astronaut herself. Her name was Christa McAuliffe.

The countdown for the launch came 3…2…1 liftoff!

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The whole class cheered and just stared in awe for that first minute or so, then it just went away in a poof on the screen. I saw the teachers cover their mouths, and I knew at age 8 that something went wrong, and then they just shut the T.V. off and tried their best to distract us from the obvious.

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NASA was a huge deal when I was a kid. Space Camp was huge in the movies. If you took a trip down to Disney World, maybe your parents tried to make a stop at the Kennedy Space Center because space was the cool thing at the time. Now, that the shuttle program is long gone, will we ever have that “awe” back?

Even though the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, and then Columbia in 2003, will the space program ever bring that childlike interest and curiosity of living up in Mars one day, or even on the Moon ever again? Only time will tell. Do you remember where you were when the space shuttle Challenger exploded?

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