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Challenger Disaster 25th Anniversary


Wheeljack35
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I remember when this happened as a kid. I recently for some strange reason got really interested again and looked this up last year. The most painful aspects of this is the footage of the parents face when it blew up -- watching the teacher's mother and father in the audience after the liftoff and explosion was heartbreaking. Also knowing that this could of been avoided but the heads of NASA didn't want to delay the flight any longer despite the conditions were NOT right for flying.

 

Another sad thing is to note that they mostly survived the explosion and that the cabin blew off the shuttle body and the captain tried to pilot the cabin but didn't know that there was no body to pilot. They died from the impact of the cabin hitting the water.

 

Terrible avoidable tragic situation.

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Wow you actually attended a school named after her...cool!

Yeah, it was pretty neat. The school had a space exploration motif in the halls and stuff. Her astronaut photo was always in the front of the school when you'd enter the building. I'm sure there are a lot of schools named after her though.

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of NASA didn't want to delay the flight any longer despite the conditions were NOT right for flying.

 

Another sad thing is to note that they mostly survived the explosion and that the cabin blew off the shuttle body and the captain tried to pilot the cabin but didn't know that there was no body to pilot. They died from the impact of the cabin hitting the water.

 

 

I've never heard that before. I knew that the cabin was reported as being found intact at the bottom of the ocean and was blown away from the explosion, but I heard that all the members were unconscious due to the massive concussion of the explosion and basically died instantly.

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It was a Tuesday, and school was out. I don't remember if it was a snow day or if it was a Parent Teacher Meeting day. I was ten years old, at home in my room watching Captain Kangaroo on the local PBS/KET channel. PBS had just began airing old episodes of Captain Kangaroo. Then, the news flash started scrolling along the bottom of the screen. I immediately turned to one of the three major networks to see what was happening.

For the next month I drew depictions of the explosion in school. The teacher saw and used one of my early drawings of the explosion, and commissioned me to draw the shuttle intact on the launchpad, for a class project where we discussed what had happened and how it affected us.

This is the image, seared into my head, that I drew over and over:

33eli0j.jpg

Honestly, I think the realization of what happened was so shocking I didn't know what to think. I just had to draw it over and over to cope with it.

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I had gone into the studio that day completely unaware of what had happened. Went into the senior animators room and they were "serious" and listening to the radio. I wasn't paying attention until one of them told me " the space shuttle blew up".

At first I thought it was a (tasteless) joke, but then they all told me it was true.

In shock, I dropped to my butt on the floor right there and listened to the radio...........and THEN learned of the tragedy that has unfolded.

Quite a shock to me, and upset me greatly.

 

Initially, I wrongly believed that the shuttle had escape systems.......like ACES series ejection seats. I believed that because the first shuttle Columbia had them for the early Young/Crippen flight tests-and so I thought that it was possible the Challenger crew had punched out. Then I discovered the sobering truth that crew didn't have a means of escape and all perished in the accident.

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The library was the center of our school and was very up-to-date on news footage and video feeds. When it happened we were in class. The librarian came into our class and seemed disturbed. The question at the time was - "Should we show THEM this?"

Our teacher was tough about it and said yes. We spent the next two days discussing the shuttle disaster. It was an eye opener as far as tragedy in life.

It was the first time that I understood just how unadvanced we really are as far as space travel. It was NOT like Star Trek.

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Lets see...I was in 11th. grade and just start English class when a teacher came in to inform us. We watched the news for the rest of the school day.

 

I grew up wanting to be an astronaut, so it was shocking but even then I understood the risked. I actually had wrote a report about the Apollo 1 fire after I had visited Kennedy Space center a few years before.

 

I never became an astronaut but I will always support our space program.

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One thing that was bought up tonight on the news was it was the day of the State of the Union address and Reagan of course postponed it.I forgot that

 

The one thing that did happen was two weeks from the day this happened my friend got into a motorcycle accident.I had witnessed him getting thrown up in the air like a ragdoll.My first thought after he went to the hospital was with this and the Shuttle blowing up what kind of year was 1986 going to be?

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Watching the faces of the family members always reminded me (or made me think of) a family that my Father knew thru work and we socialized with at the company get togethers, who lost their teenage son in a sky diving accident. Stand there on the ground, watching your child jump out of an airplane, FILMING the whole thing, only to record his plummet to the earth due to a failed parachute.

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I was only 3 (almost 4) at the time and I don't remember anything about it. My mother remembers me watch it with her but I guess I was to young to comprehend what was happening. When I was in sixth grade I had to do a report on a famous New Hampshire person and I chose McAuliffe. Made a really neat diorama of her classroom.

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of NASA didn't want to delay the flight any longer despite the conditions were NOT right for flying.

 

Another sad thing is to note that they mostly survived the explosion and that the cabin blew off the shuttle body and the captain tried to pilot the cabin but didn't know that there was no body to pilot. They died from the impact of the cabin hitting the water.

 

 

I've never heard that before. I knew that the cabin was reported as being found intact at the bottom of the ocean and was blown away from the explosion, but I heard that all the members were unconscious due to the massive concussion of the explosion and basically died instantly.

 

I read that but who knows for sure. I read that the impact of the cabin hitting the water is what killed them and not the explosion

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenger_disaster#No_.22explosion.22

 

Read this on Wiki - I read it somewhere else also. It is just a better thing for them of of been unconscious than to be aware but some were. It just saddens me to know people may of lived through a horroric moment before death, I pray I go in my sleep or quickly not through fear or in a crazed situation.

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of NASA didn't want to delay the flight any longer despite the conditions were NOT right for flying.

 

Another sad thing is to note that they mostly survived the explosion and that the cabin blew off the shuttle body and the captain tried to pilot the cabin but didn't know that there was no body to pilot. They died from the impact of the cabin hitting the water.

 

 

I've never heard that before. I knew that the cabin was reported as being found intact at the bottom of the ocean and was blown away from the explosion, but I heard that all the members were unconscious due to the massive concussion of the explosion and basically died instantly.

 

I read that but who knows for sure. I read that the impact of the cabin hitting the water is what killed them and not the explosion

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenger_disaster#No_.22explosion.22

 

Read this on Wiki - I read it somewhere else also. It is just a better thing for them of of been unconscious than to be aware but some were. It just saddens me to know people may of lived through a horroric moment before death, I pray I go in my sleep or quickly not through fear or in a crazed situation.

 

That was interesting (the wikipedia write up). It's definitely hard (if not impossible) to know for certain if any of them were still alive or even conscious before hitting the water, but it would seem likely that they were not. I know they stated somewhere that none of them had water in their lungs, so nobody was still breathing at after the impact onto the water.

 

As horrible as the thought of these people being conscious as they fell to their death, nothing makes me any sicker to my stomach than the thought of the people who fell to their deaths from the World Trade Towers on 9/11. They like to claim that those people likely passed out as well, but who knows? Terrible. People always say that flying is safer than driving, but if you're involved in a car accident, it happens so fast you don't even have time to react. An airplane crash happens quickly as soon as it hits the ground, but it's that time period between "oh sh@#..what's going on with the plane" and the crash, that agonizes me. You can crap your pants 20 X over and have a few coronary failures in that long duration, waiting for the inevitable.

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I have vague memories of watching this on television with my Mom. It happened before I went to school for the day (I was in Kindergarten and we only went for half a day...I had the afternoon class). I think I was too young to really comprehend the whole situation...other than knowing a space shuttle had blown up.

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of NASA didn't want to delay the flight any longer despite the conditions were NOT right for flying.

 

Another sad thing is to note that they mostly survived the explosion and that the cabin blew off the shuttle body and the captain tried to pilot the cabin but didn't know that there was no body to pilot. They died from the impact of the cabin hitting the water.

 

 

I've never heard that before. I knew that the cabin was reported as being found intact at the bottom of the ocean and was blown away from the explosion, but I heard that all the members were unconscious due to the massive concussion of the explosion and basically died instantly.

 

I read that but who knows for sure. I read that the impact of the cabin hitting the water is what killed them and not the explosion

 

http://en.wikipedia.....22explosion.22

 

Read this on Wiki - I read it somewhere else also. It is just a better thing for them of of been unconscious than to be aware but some were. It just saddens me to know people may of lived through a horroric moment before death, I pray I go in my sleep or quickly not through fear or in a crazed situation.

 

That was interesting (the wikipedia write up). It's definitely hard (if not impossible) to know for certain if any of them were still alive or even conscious before hitting the water, but it would seem likely that they were not. I know they stated somewhere that none of them had water in their lungs, so nobody was still breathing at after the impact onto the water.

 

As horrible as the thought of these people being conscious as they fell to their death, nothing makes me any sicker to my stomach than the thought of the people who fell to their deaths from the World Trade Towers on 9/11. They like to claim that those people likely passed out as well, but who knows? Terrible. People always say that flying is safer than driving, but if you're involved in a car accident, it happens so fast you don't even have time to react. An airplane crash happens quickly as soon as it hits the ground, but it's that time period between "oh sh@#..what's going on with the plane" and the crash, that agonizes me. You can crap your pants 20 X over and have a few coronary failures in that long duration, waiting for the inevitable.

 

No one is totally sure but the article states that many of them activated emergency equipment and that the pilot tried to get power back to the cabin manually. He could of fainted within moments or rode the entire ride down. The point was that lived through the explosion, and ultimately it was the impact of the crash that killed them. If they had ejector seats and the proper type of pressured air, at the very least a couple of them would have survived the explosion.

 

As for 9/11 I just don't know what to say, so many of them just jumped to their deaths. Its always sad, no matter the situation.

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As horrible as the thought of these people being conscious as they fell to their death, nothing makes me any sicker to my stomach than the thought of the people who fell to their deaths from the World Trade Towers on 9/11. They like to claim that those people likely passed out as well, but who knows? Terrible.

 

If the immediate environment is so overwhelming, that is to say falling to one's death, then the mind can disassociate and the victim can become entranced. They are then essentially "unconscious", but technically aware. Its like an aspect of MPD ( multiple personality disorder) where the victim is so traumatized that their mind regresses, but a base "operating system" remains active.

When the mind is totally convinced that its going to die, it frantically prepares the body and the mind for the shock of it.

They might well see, hear, smell , taste and feel their last few moments, but they may not fully process it because the mind ( re: the ego) is so distracted in desperately attempting to filter the situation.

 

This is also why the human brain uses only 10% of its capacity, for survivable trauma the brain has the means to shelter itself and still carry on. That 90% left over is a buffer/safe harbour to sequester the mind away from anything it really cannot handle.

 

Dying slowly follows the same pattern, albeit stretched out over a great deal of time, and the mind has time to process/sort it all. The disassociations are either far, far less or none at all--especially near the end, and the psychology of the dying is then more benign in most cases.

We are all wired this way, biologically, and so we all have some inherited instinct (at the genetic level)as to how to process this.

This is why we feel an innate sense of horror at these kinds of death, because its not pleasant ( and biologically speaking, its not meant to be) and its the major catalyst in the human drive to survive.

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I remember a joke that circulated at the time:

 

How did they know Christa McAuliffe had dandruff?

 

They found her Head & Shoulders.

 

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