Twenty five years ago, on January 28, 1986, what would turn out to be the last flight of Space Shuttle Challenger came to an abrupt and horrifying end 73 seconds after launch when the failure of an O-ring in the right solid rocket booster caused the destruction of Challenger, killing all aboard.
The crew of Space Shuttle Challenger's last flight, STS-51-L
Michael J. Smith,
Francis Richard Scobee,
"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God", -Ronald Reagan, quoting "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr
It was a cold, clear day , and my three-year-old self was standing in the yard with my mom excitedly watching the Space Shuttle Challenger streak skyward when it happened. That ruler-straight line of flame and vapor suddenly was y-shaped and I knew that something was horribly wrong, even if I was too little to understand exactly what. The destruction of the Challenger is the second oldest memory I have that I can place a date to, and I will never forget it.
According to wikipedia
, only two news stories in US history have traveled faster, and 85% of the US population knew within one hour what had happened. Where were you when you heard the news?