Five years ago

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I woke up on a Saturday morning to head out to Elsinore to do some skydiving. Julia would be there, too, and we agreed to do a couple of jumps. I was going to head out at 6:30 and I'd be there by hopefully 7:30.

I turned on the television just to get an idea of the news before I left. It was about a little after 6:00 a.m. "Oh, the shuttle's landing today." I had no idea, so I watched the television.

But the reports were not good. They'd lost communications with the shuttle a couple of minutes before. Seemed odd. Then, a couple of minutes later, reports were coming in about debris over Texas. Within minutes, it was being described that Mission Control had locked the doors.

Then came the horrible video over the Texas skies.

I left to jump at about 7:00. Julia called me about 7:30 to ask about the weather and I told her I wasn't there yet because I was watching the television. She laughed and asked what cartoon I had been watching. I said, "Julia. I was watching the news. Turn it on. The space shuttle just disintegrated on re-entry."

I did two jumps that day. I remember being under canopy and looking upward in that peace and gettign a bit choked up. It was the first time I had ever had a feeling that wasn't sheer gratefulness upon a good canopy check.

Let us remember that day with sadness and reflection. I was but 13 years old when Challenger disintegrated on taken. Now, I was 30 years old and had a much greater understanding of life, adventure, and duty.

And let me reflect my admiration for those people - some of whom post here - who work to support those astronauts and their families.

My wife is hotter than your wife.

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Good post.

I remember that video, too...though I wasn't aware of what had happened for a few hours.

It was a sad day...and a sad day when Challenger was lost, too.

All hail the mighty astronauts and the fragility in which they trust their lives to forward mankind...
Do not believe that possibly you can escape the reward of your action.

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My high school calculus teacher had applied to be the teacher in space. He was an ex naval aviator (pilot:P) and just loved to follow the shuttle program during class. Edwards AFB was not that far from our school and we could see the vapor trail when it landed there. I was in his class when we got the announcement of the Challenger disaster. We were all shocked, but he was devastated. I can always remember the date because it is my sister's birthday.

50 donations so far. Give it a try.

You know you want to spank it
Jump an Infinity

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I was in Las Vegas on vacation. We were leaving that day, flying back to Austin. The plane was being diverted in a different direction for safety precautions. The whole Southwest crew including the pilot said a few words regarding the tragedy. They're definitely remembered, and not forgotten.

"I had a dude tip his black cowboy hat to me after I provided him with a condom outside my hotel room at 3-something in the morning." -myself

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Great post rocket...

My son and I were just talking this morning.

We live in Texas a hundred miles and change, south of where it happened.

That day...

I was sitting on the deck out back having coffee, when there was a rumble in the sky and the trees around our house came alive with countless birds taking flight.

Alex came running out of the house saying all the windows were rattling.

My 1st thought was either a plane crash or a refinery fire.

Since we're 10 miles from Bush International, and I had dropped my better 1/2 off for a flight an hour before...my heart skipped a beat or two.

Turning on the news brought the strangest feeling of relief and sadness I've ever experienced.

~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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I was getting a Porter out of the hanger at Elroy that morning and stopped to watch for the shuttle pass over Arizona.
I saw the fireball and the breakup and wondered what that was all about. It didn't look the way previous shuttles had, but I didn't know what I'd just seen until hours later when I shut down the airplane.
Walking toward the hangar, I heard one of the Airspeed team tell another one that no one had survived ... then I knew.
Zing Lurks

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I was at home eating breakfast, when someone in my group called me to tell me what had just happened. I had the same feeling that I did when I heard about Challenger, but I was sitting in my office then.

I work in the industry, so I went to the office to see if there was anything I could do. I knew my software area wasn't involved, but I can use a computer. I bought pizza for the guys who were already trying to decipher some of the downlinked data. I wasn't the only person kind of wandering around, trying to see if there was anything useful they could do without getting in the way.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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I was home. It was Saturday, right? I turn on the TV and there it was plastered on just about every network channel and all the news channels. It was one of those "not again" feelings.

This week is NASA's darkest and deadliest week in history.

January 27, 1967, Astronauts Lt. Col. Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Lt. Col. Edward H. White, and Lt. Cdr. Roger Chafee lost their lives when a fire swept through the command module during a preflight test for what would have been the Apollo 1 mission.

January 28, 1986, the shuttle Challenger exploded, killing the crew of seven 73 seconds after takeoff. The crew members who were killed were: Francis R. Scobee, shuttle commander; Cdr. Michael J. Smith, pilot; mission specialists Judith A. Resnik, Lt. Col. Ellison S. Onizuka, and Ronald E. McNair; and payload specialists Gregory B. Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe (who was to have been the first civilian schoolteacher in space).

February 1, 2003, the shuttle Columbia broke up upon reentry into the Earth's atmosphere. Killed were Rick Husband, shuttle commander; William McCool, pilot; payload commander Michael Anderson; payload specialist Ilan Ramon, also the first Israeli astronaut; mission specialists David M. Brown, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, and Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-American woman in space.

Always remember these pioneers. Space travel is still experimental, and disaster will always be lurking just around the corner. You never know.

I was just a few months old when the Apollo 1 astronauts died, 18 years old and a senior in high school when Challenger blew up, and 35 years old when Columbia disintegrated.

There are schools named Chafee Elementary, White Middle, Grissom High, and Challenger Elementary in Huntsville, AL (my hometown). There has been talk of building a new school named Columbia, but I have no idea where they are with this.
"Mediocre people don't like high achievers, and high achievers don't like mediocre people." - SIX TIME National Champion coach Nick Saban

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