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OTD: Jan 28, 1986 - Challenger

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DocM    16,319

 

Congress didn't take the hint, Shuttle was an extremely flawed design. They then cancelled Shuttle replacements (HL-20 & HL-42) a few years later, continuing to fly at high risk. Then came Colombia, and they still kept flying.

 

Worse; there were several other near disasters the public is largely unaware of.

 

Only now, 33 years later, are we correcting those mistakes.

Edited by DocM
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Steven P.    12,983

I was at school in the UK, it was being screened in classrooms and we all got told to go home. Sad day!

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DocM    16,319

I was heading back to my office after a Health Dept. meeting and stopped at a waiting room to watch the launch on CNN.  Within seconds after the breakup almost the entire room was in tears; patients, staff, everyone. 

 

Knowing I was an aerospace fan another staffer asked if they could have survived, mentioning the launch escape rocket atop Mercury and Apollo. I said "No, the Shuttle doesn't have a launch escape system." 

 

The "W-T-F ?!?"  looks I got....

 

Another item many people don't know is that they survived the explosion, dying when the crew cabin hit the water at ~200 mph.

 

No parachute on the crew cabin.

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FloatingFatMan    17,895

I was at the launch.

 

I tried to go back to the space center in 1999 whilst on my honeymoon, there was a launch scheduled and everything, but when it came to it... I bailed.

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DocM    16,319
13 minutes ago, FloatingFatMan said:

I was at the launch.

 

I tried to go back to the space center in 1999 whilst on my honeymoon, there was a launch scheduled and everything, but when it came to it... I bailed.

 

I didn't avoid watching launches, but after reading the Rogers Commission Report I became a strong proponent of retiring the Shuttle ASAP. Too many design problems, with more revealed after the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.  

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FloatingFatMan    17,895
3 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

I didn't avoid watching launches, but after reading the Rogers Commission Report I became a strong proponent of retiring the Shuttle ASAP. Too many design problems, with more revealed after the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. 

I guess that's the difference between seeing it on TV, and being there in person... Feeling the emotional impact as the shockwave reached us and the raw emotion of 1000's of people in shock, horror and grief.

 

I will never forget that, man... Never.

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

I watched the launch (as did everyone else) on TV. We couldn't believe what we were seeing. Then the shock of what had just happened, the 1980's journalistic style of "sanitized news" ... they were trying to be as analytic as possible, going over every piece of camera footage they had, etc. ... and then the bombshell that they'd identified the Crew Compartment as it was falling and tracked it all the way down to the water and that it was possible that at least one astronaut survived the explosion ... insane. :no: 

 

Then President Reagan coming on to make his infamous speech that evening.

 

It was a dark, dark day. I remember it well.

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