Friday, January 28, 2011

Space Shuttle Challenger

At roughly this moment 25 years ago Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff killing all 7 on board. It was the first time NASA has suffered casualties during an actual flight. The 3 deaths on board what was later dubbed Apollo 1 happened as part of a training mission. Space Shuttle Columbia exploded in 2003. All 3 missions are remembered by NASA each January
Monument at Arlington National Cemetery
Barack Obama released a statement this week honoring the men and women who have lost their lives on NASA missions. 

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."
That afternoon President Reagan addressed the nation from the Oval Office. The State of the Union was scheduled for that night but wasn't delivered. Reagan mentions in this video that he changed his mind and decided to not deliver it that night but a NBC news clip embedded below says congressmen told them they were not interested in politics that day. I really want to read up more on this. 

The Shuttle fleet will be retired later this year. As I have mentioned in the past, I am a big suppoter of manned space flights

As I have also mentioned in the past, I almost got to see a shuttle launch from very close to Cape Canveral. I was in Florida (in Orlando to be exact) in the week leading up to the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing and was not able to attend any of the festivities at Cape Canaveral. Even the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour that I went to see ended up being called off 5 minutes before launch time. That wasn't even the worst of it, the 40 minute drive back to Orlando took us 4 hours because of the traffic backup exiting from the vicinity of Cape Canaveral. I did mange to catch the launch of the Shuttle from the airport. A huge crowd gathered at the airport gate as we all looked out the window and saw the orange glow shooting towards the sky. It was an amazing site watching all the planes grounded on the runway as they waited for the shuttle to clear their airspace

YouTube has CNN's original live broadcast. They also have CBS and NBC News coverage. They are all in multiple parts but I have embedded the first part of each video below. You can access the rest from there. 

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