Friday, 28 January 2011

Twenty Five Years On

I was thirteen years old in July 1986. Fascinated with space and space travel, watching shuttle launches was something I always did, even staying up late when necessary. On Tuesday 28th January, I got home from school and settled down in front of newsround, the children's news show on BBC One, to watch Challenge rocket into space.

I don't think I'll ever forget the stunned disbelief as, 73 seconds into its launch, Challenge exploded. I just sat, unable to take it in. Feeling utter horror at the deaths of those on borad: people I didn't know but felt such an affinity for.

So to Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, and Judith Resnik I say good night and God bless.

You are not forgotten.


  1. It's so sad about the Challenger.

    Wonderful tribute.

  2. That would have been awful watching it on TV. I watched the Twin Towers fall on TV, that sucked big time!

  3. @The Golden Eagle: I lived and breathed the shuttle missions, so it's important to me. I'd still like to see a launch in the US, though I would hold by breath until it ws up and safe.

    @Trisha It was awful. But I missed the Twin Towers on the actual day - I was in the middle of France, celebrating my birthday (9/11) - and knew nothing about it until the day after.

  4. Having seen both the Challenger disaster and 9/11 as they happened, I have to say that both were utterly devastating in their own way - one a horrible reminder that we are limited by the technology to hand, and one a stark reminder that there are people who would bring destruction on us all. The two things are not comparable, but terrible companion pieces which will linger in our minds.

    "...I would hold my breath until it was up and safe."
    Really? I can hold my breath for (maybe) three minutes, but to be able to do so for eight is truly remarkable. ;)