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« Don't You Just Hate It? | Main | A Haunting Past »

Eighteen Years Ago

The Challenger was lost, with all aboard.

Hard to believe that it was that long ago. I'll have some more thoughts up on this a little later, but here are my recollections of the event from a couple years ago. When it was only sixteen years ago, that was only a year more than fifteen, which doesn't seem so long. Now that it's eighteen, it's almost twenty, and in some ways makes me feel old.

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 28, 2004 09:56 AM
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Of course, the fact it's also your birthday might have something to do with that, too...

Posted by BruceR at January 28, 2004 10:13 AM

I was a sophomore in high school at the time. I was sitting in typing class, typing away on an IBM Selectric, the Cadillac of electric typewriters. The principal broke in over the PA system to announce what had happened. Class pretty much stopped, and the atmosphere was not so much stunned as confused. "What happens now?" probably sums it up as well as anything.

About an hour later, they announced that classes for the rest of the day were cancelled, and everyone milled around in the gym talking about it.

I was pissed off. I was sure it had to be sabotage! Which seems laughable now, but at the time, NASA was like StarFleet to me, an elite cadre of rocket scientists, science on the bleeding edge of magic, the Right Stuff personified. If I had written an essay on NASA back then, the word "bureaucrat" would not even have appeared in it. How times change...

Posted by Jon Acheson at January 28, 2004 10:18 AM

Happy birthday, Rand! Thanks for continuing to fight the good space fight.

Posted by Ron Garret at January 28, 2004 10:38 AM

I was attending ITS (Infantry Training School) at Camp Pendleton; that day we at the LAW range.

The instructor made a bad joke about a school needing a new teacher, realized we hadn't seen the news (no T.V. no newspapers, no time really for anything but school) and told us what happened.

Then we went back to work learning to shoot rockets and blow up tanks.

Posted by Brian at January 28, 2004 11:54 AM

I remember how cold it was that night I spent it watching heaters at the nursery I worked for. The night was in the twenties in miami. I drove into Miami to pick up some tortoises I promised to get my Vet. On the drive back to the redlands I wondered if they launched the shuttle in this weather and was greeted by " no survivors" took awhile to find the shuttle had blown.
BTW that nursey after hurricane andrew was rented to the guys that are now enviormental aerospace. They used it for playing with "model rockets", now I guess they are building the hybrid motor for spaceship one.

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