And it never occurred to us that anyone would die.
Die they did, and we learned real quick that this space business was serious and that it was not like on Star Trek or Star Wars even.
The event was made all the more poignant because a teacher died. She was not military and she surely was not obscure by the time she boarded Challenger. Her name was Christa McAuliffe and she was living out a teacher's dream.
Let us all take a moment to remember them on Jan. 28th:
Commander Dick Scobee
Pilot Mike Smith
Astronaut Ellison Onizuka
Astronaut Judy Resnik
Astronaut Ron McNair
Astronaut Greg Jarvis
Teacher Christa McAuliffe
NASA will be holding a Day of Rememberance for the Challenger crew as well as for the Apollo I crew and the Columbia Crew.
Here are some articles marking the 20th anniversary:
- Remembering Challenger 20 Years Later
- NASA's account of the Challenger accident is here.
- An update on Barbara Morgan, Christa McAuliffe's understudy is found here.
I think that one of the casualties of the Apollo I, Virgil "Gus" Grissom said it best in regards to space flight and disaster:
"If we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business and we hope-Virgil I. Grissom, after the Gemini 3 mission, March 1965
that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of
space is worth the risk of life."