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28 Years Later: The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

Today we remember the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster that occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. The disaster led to the deaths of its seven crew members, including teacher Christa McAuliffe who was part of the Teacher in Space Project. Share with us in the comments where you were when this happened.

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Brian Hope January 28 2014 at 12:36 PM

I was at home when the TV news switched to the Cape. I knew immediately that something was wrong, since shuttle launches had become so routine that they were normally no longer televised. Frankly, I had always felt that the shuttle concept was a misdirection of our space funding, which would have better been spent on using large unmanned cargo rockets to put major items like the sections of the space station into orbit and having smaller passenger shuttles to take the astronauts up to orbit to do their work. Even before the prototype shuttle "Enterprise" was being test-flown, it had already become obvious that the promise of the shuttle program as a more cost-effective means for manned space flight was nothing but a myth. As it turned out, losing 40 percent (Challenger and Columbia) of the shuttle fleet to disasters was a tragically insufficient allocation of our NASA dollars.

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ps7603 January 28 2014 at 10:47 AM

Tempus fugit ... Hard to believe that was 28 years ago.
God Bless them and may they rest in Peace. ~ P

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Kelly Pedersen January 28 2014 at 10:46 AM

I was in kindergarten and we were watching it on tv (remember, the tvs on carts?).

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lawsco January 28 2014 at 6:24 PM

My wife and I were at Disney watching. It was a little chilly. We saw the takeoff and she said something doesn't look right. I said well this the first takeoff that we have seen. No one around us realized what happened. It wasn't until we arrived back at the hotel that we knew what happened. It was a sad moment.

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h317garcia January 28 2014 at 6:24 PM

i didn't have Ms.McAuliffe as a teach but i was the next class over ,she was a loving person,love talking about space the stars every thing , i was sitting at my front door looking at the sky my dad a few feet away watching the news the count down started everything was cool, it took a few second to hear the boom, we were in shock, that a day i still have nigthmares!!!!!!!!

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brisske2 January 28 2014 at 6:30 PM

I was working in an office in Florida. The daughter of one of the bosses called with the news and we all went to the conference room and turned on the tv to hear and watch the sad news.

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bobbieskip January 28 2014 at 6:32 PM

The reality of the unpredictable danger of space travel We took it all for granted that nothing could go wrong. It is so true for our every day existance, any moment can be our last; life is precious minute by minute, we must live it as such...to the max!

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kyle.kyle7 January 28 2014 at 6:34 PM

It was the first, and last, shuttle launch I ever watched

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cc201 January 28 2014 at 4:00 PM

I was holding my newborn, my oldest now 28, as we were in hospital getting ready to go home.

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Julie January 28 2014 at 3:59 PM

I was a Navy Nurse at Balboa Hospital in San Diego, CA working on the orthopedic ward for enlisted soldiers. I had just gotten married on January 11th so we had come back from our honeymoon. Some of the patients had small televisions and we were watching the challenger. All of a sudden it exploded and we just couldn't believe it. I had to continue working even though I felt very sad.

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