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Where Were You Moments

January 28th marks 25 years that seven astronauts died aboard the space shuttle Challenger when it exploded minutes after take off.  Where were you?

Photo by NASA/Getty Images

It was January 28th 1986 around 11:30am, I was sitting in a college radio production classroom when one of our ‘class clowns’ walked in several minutes late stating that the space shuttle Challenger had exploded.  We all thought he was kidding.  As we left the classroom to go to the main building where several television monitors were tuned to the news replaying the video over and over, we all were shocked at what happened. 

Over the course of several days-years, we learned that 73 seconds after liftoff, and 9 miles over the Atlantic Ocean, a faulty o-ring caused the shuttle to explode killing all on board.  We watched the cockpit jettison away from the main aircraft with no parachute to slow its descent- that wasnt even thought of yet.  It fact the astronauts only wore light flights suits and helmets similar to a motorcycle helmet. 

The nation mourned the crew members of NASA’s second space shuttle Challenger. Commander Francis Scobee, pilot Michael Smith, mission specialists Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe, who was selected to be the first teacher in space. 

As I reflect on that day 25 years ago, has it really been that long?  I started to think about events and where was I when I heard of the news. Some of you may not have been alive when the Challenger exploded, so where were you when you heard about The Oklahoma City bombing, the beginning of the Gulf War, Columbine, 911, The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, Katrina, the Christmas Tsanami, and now the shootings in Tuscon?   We live in a world where the news travels fast, stop and take a moment to remember those who have lost their lives.

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