Challenger Explosion

Flie

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Nov 2, 2001
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36 years ago today. Where were you when it exploded? I was in High School in Government class. May the 7 astronauts rest in peace.

6th grade. The teacher next door walked in and told our class what happened.
 
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Jan Itor

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Jan 31, 2009
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Ft Lee Virginia heading back from lunch when we heard the news on the radio. A sick feeling sunk in.
 
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Breastman

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Feb 4, 2003
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Remember it clearly: was home sick from school with the flu. For whatever reason, I got on the couch and watched the entire thing from the boarding process to the explosion.

It's interesting how many people actually watched it. I'm curious if many people today would seriously find a space launch worth watching.
 
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Titanhawk2

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Jul 14, 2011
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Studying in my apartment in IC. I had worked at Rockwell in CR that summer, called my old boss, she said it was a bad day in the office.
 
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BubsFinn

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Nov 20, 2004
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I was in an art class in high school. Another teacher came into the room and said the space shuttle just blew up. I thought it was the set up to a joke. The next period, I worked in the vice principal's office. We watched the news the entire time.
 
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win4jj

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Aug 17, 2011
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6th grade gym class. Mr. Johnson wheeled out the tv and said, “this is more important than shooting hoops.”
 
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Menace Sockeyes

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Sep 2, 2010
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Kindergarten. I still remember walking next door to watch it with other kids in the library. They explained how the shuttle was going to shed the tank and go into space, I thought it had just separated from the tank and was behind all that smoke. I can’t remember if I asked where it went (I think I did), but I remember being ushered quietly back to class with a lot of questions. It’s my only conscious memory of Kindergarten.
 
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DFSNOLE

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Sep 25, 2002
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I was a superintendent at a large construction project in Jupiter Florida and had sent the guys home that morning because it was too cold. I went to a department store to pay a credit card bill and was watching in the parking lot. I didn't realize what I saw was an explosion but instead thought it was just the boosters detaching. It wasn't until I went inside and was told what happened that I realized what I witnessed.
 
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thewop

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Jun 27, 2002
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Kindergarten. I was at home that day, either because I was sick or because it wasn't my day (every other day kindergarten back then).

Mom came downstairs and turned it on because she thought it would be cool for me to watch the shuttle launch. First one I ever saw.
 
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Hawkeyenuts66

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Oct 11, 2013
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In formation standing on the grinder at NTC Orlando. Watched it live and when the explosion happen the base went into full lockdown as the initial thought as an act or terrorism or war. That will forever be burnt into my memory.
 
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Big Hawk D-Port

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Nov 29, 2004
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You guys are old.

I was in third grade. Another teacher came in and told my teacher, who responded with, “Think about all that money wasted.” To which the other teacher replied “And think about those people.” And my teacher said again, “All that money…” I don’t know why but that exchange has stuck with me.

Side note that the crew didn’t die in the explosion. They died when the shuttle hit the water.
 
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thewop

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BTW thank you to @GOHOX69 for starting this thread. I decided to show the cnn video from youtube to my kids, it made for a good history lesson on Saturday morning.
 
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DFSNOLE

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Side note that the crew didn’t die in the explosion. They died when the shuttle hit the water.
I hadn't heard that before. This is what I found.

2. The astronauts aboard the shuttle didn’t die instantly.​

After the collapse of its fuel tank, the Challenger itself remained momentarily intact and actually continued moving upwards. Without its fuel tank and boosters beneath it, however, powerful aerodynamic forces soon pulled the orbiter apart. The pieces—including the crew cabin—reached an altitude of some 65,000 feet before falling out of the sky into the Atlantic Ocean below.


It’s likely that the Challenger’s crew survived the initial breakup of the shuttle but lost consciousness due to loss of cabin pressure and probably died due to oxygen deficiency pretty quickly. But the cabin hit the water’s surface (at more than 200 mph) a full 2 minutes and 45 seconds after the shuttle broke apart, and it’s unknown whether any of the crew could have regained consciousness in the final few seconds of the fall.

 
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Big Hawk D-Port

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I hadn't heard that before. This is what I found.

2. The astronauts aboard the shuttle didn’t die instantly.​

After the collapse of its fuel tank, the Challenger itself remained momentarily intact and actually continued moving upwards. Without its fuel tank and boosters beneath it, however, powerful aerodynamic forces soon pulled the orbiter apart. The pieces—including the crew cabin—reached an altitude of some 65,000 feet before falling out of the sky into the Atlantic Ocean below.


It’s likely that the Challenger’s crew survived the initial breakup of the shuttle but lost consciousness due to loss of cabin pressure and probably died due to oxygen deficiency pretty quickly. But the cabin hit the water’s surface (at more than 200 mph) a full 2 minutes and 45 seconds after the shuttle broke apart, and it’s unknown whether any of the crew could have regained consciousness in the final few seconds of the fall.


This entire clip is worth a watch but the last two minutes there is an interview with astronaut Story Musgrave.
 
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