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Twenty Years Ago Today...
Bill Harris
post Jan 28 2006, 09:59 PM
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...the Challenger distaster occurred.

I was at work, we heard the news and rushed upstairs to the Administrative Hearing Room and switched on the TV. There were replays of the explosion, and I fully expected the Shuttle to pop out of the fireball and glide to Earth. It didn't, and we grew up a bit more that day.

A moment of silence, please.

--Bill


http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missio...ssion-51-l.html


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Bob Shaw
post Jan 28 2006, 11:56 PM
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I was called through to a room where a friend was watching TV. He said 'The Shuttle blew up!', which turned out to be a pretty accurate summary. I sat and cried like a friend or family member had gone, and still turn away when that point of a launch happens. Columbia was the same again - that time, I was following it on the WWW, and rapidly realised that things were badly wrong. These things happen, though, and - sadly - there will be more deaths on the road to the stars.

Gone, but not forgotten.

Bob Shaw


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Remember: Time Flies like the wind - but Fruit Flies like bananas!
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DDAVIS
post Jan 29 2006, 12:05 AM
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I have have put up a web page with my thoughts about the last flight of Challenger, and some images from TV and the recovery operations. Until 1/28/86 there was hope that many people other than astronauts would soon get to fly in Earth orbit. This dream, which was a major selling point of the shuttle, was shattered for the baby boomer generation on that terrible day.
I recall some artists were jockying for position to be picked by NASA to eventually fly, I recieved and answered a letter from NASA on the possibilities of artistic projects for eventual space flights.
Now the dream seems laughable, and good money is wasted training dozens of astronaut candidates who will never fly. Children are to this day being decieved in Challenger learning centers into thinking they can fly in space, when the odds are such that you might as well tell them they can win a lottery, or become the leader of a nation. While possible, the odds speak for themselves.

http://www.donaldedavis.com/STSo25/ENDOFDREAM.html

-DD-

P.S. Once hardware is built and flown for the return to the Moon, I may be a bit less pessemistic.
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Bill Harris
post Jan 29 2006, 04:32 AM
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Very poignant. Thank you.

--Bill


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edstrick
post Jan 29 2006, 10:53 AM
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I had been working all night on my eventually never finished dissertation, was lying in bed before going to sleep and had turned the radio and tape deck on to listen to and audio tape record the launch. I was listening to long-range-AM KTRH Houston, as KLBJ Austin wasn't carrying the launch.

I'm not sure whether the reporter was at the cape, I think he was watching a monitor of the launch...

After the Go at Throttle up, the crew's last word, and the crackle that accompanied the breakup, the reporter's voice changed, he said he couldn't see the shuttle, wasn't sure what was happening.... Then when flight narration reported "Obviously a major malfunction", I knew something bad had happened.

When another voice (I think) in the com-link stated "No Downlink", I felt like I'd been dipped in liquid nitrogen, this feeling washed over me. I got up, pulled clothes on, and ran next door to where my brother was doing some yard work, hollering "The shuttle has exploded".

I didn't get much sleep, with watching the unending coverage on the networks and crying.
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dvandorn
post Jan 29 2006, 01:22 PM
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January 27, 1967 -- I was 11 years old. My brother and I were watching TV, waiting for dinner, when the network interrupted local programming (something they didn't do all that often) to read the initial report of the Apollo 1 fire -- which stated that "at least one member of the crew has died." To my everlasting shame, my first thought was that I hoped it hadn't been Grissom or White. To my 11-year-old mind, it seemed somehow that the second American in space and the first American to perform an EVA were somehow more important than a rookie who had never flown. I still feel bad about that.

January 28, 1986 -- Just the previous day, I had exulted in the triumphant return of my Chicago Bears from their Super Bowl victory. This was the very first time in my life that a sports team I followed had won a championship. It felt really good. And then, after I had spent a few days feeling *so* good, I was at work when a friend called me. She asked if I knew that the Shuttle was supposed to fly today -- I said yeah, I knew they were going to try again, but that I wasn't all that sanguine on the chances for this, the sixth attempt to launch this mission, would actually get off the ground today. Then she blurted out, "Doug, the Shuttle exploded." I took an early lunch, ran home, and watched the coverage, over and over again. By running the network's super-slow-motion version of the event at a fast scan, I got a speed-of-event that let me actually see the orbiter rip off of the stack and spin away from the fireball. It was a traumatic day.

February 1, 2003 -- I was scheduled for a driving shift at my Pizza Hut, starting at 11 am. I had spent the night sleeping on the couch, with NASA-TV running on the tube, so I would wake up when the voice chatter got thick, since Columbia was supposed to land at about 9:15 a.m. my time. I was listening to the chatter, half-asleep, and then nodded off a bit -- until waking up about five minutes after the vehicle ought to have landed, and still just seeing the image of the MCC on the screen, knew something had to be wrong. Just about then I heard Leroy Cain talking the flight control team through the data captuire and archive process, and knew something had to be terribly wrong. I switched over to CNN, and the first thing I saw was a bright re-entering star breaking into multiple pieces, each leaving its own contrail, and I knew exactly what had to have happened. I quite irrationally felt guilty -- as if, had I not nodded back off to sleep during the entry, I could somehow have changed the result.

I have known many triumphant and glorious days. These three were not.

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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DEChengst
post Jan 29 2006, 06:38 PM
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QUOTE
NASA documnetary detailing the events surrounding the loss of OV-099 Space Shuttle Challenger shortly after the launch of the 25th flight of the Space Transportation System, Mission STS-51L, on 28 January, 1986, and the subesquent investigation into the loss of the vehicle and its crew of seven. The investigation showed that the Solid Rocket Booster field joints were of an insufficiently fault-tolerant design and. when launched at below-normal temperatures, leaked hot exhaust gasses on ignition leading to a breach in the external tank and destruction of the orbiter.


http://ia300139.us.archive.org/1/items/Cha...ation_256kb.mp4 (112 MB MP4)

http://ia300139.us.archive.org/1/items/Cha...vestigation.mpg ( 1,2GB MPEG2)


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PDP, VAX and Alpha fanatic ; HP-Compaq is the Satan! ; Let us pray daily while facing Maynard! ; Life starts at 150 km/h ;
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ljk4-1
post Jan 29 2006, 06:56 PM
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20 YEARS AFTER CHALLENGER
-------------------------

On a bitterly cold January morning 20 years ago Saturday, space shuttle
Challenger and her seven-member crew made a fateful voyage into history.

Spaceflight Now marks the anniversary with a comprehensive timeline of the
events and video of that day.

http://spaceflightnow.com/challenger/timeline/

See video from Saturday's memorial service:

http://www.spaceflightnowplus.com/index.php


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"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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The Messenger
post Jan 30 2006, 01:29 AM
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QUOTE (Bill Harris @ Jan 28 2006, 09:32 PM)
Very poignant.  Thank you.

--Bill
*

When I saw the video of the Shuttle sitting on the pad the night before, covered with ice, and the newsman stated NASA hoped to launch in the morning, I thought "that will never happen".

I was well aware of the 'near miss' in an O-ring event the year before, which was also launched under marginal conditions. A couple of my bridge partners were working the problem, and like me, they assumed everyone who was in the decision making loop was aware of the high risk involved in another low-temperature launch.

This is one of many reasons I continue to harp about the need for public disclosure of anomalous events, and timely reporting of all near miss and failure investigations. I can't imagine that the launch would have proceeded as planned, if the press had been aware badly charred O-rings were found in post-flight inspections of previous flights. I can't imagine NASA would have dared turn down design modifications recommended by the booster contractor, if the public and congress had known about the problem, either.
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tedstryk
post Jan 30 2006, 03:02 AM
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I remember that day vividly. I was in first grade. Our teacher stepped out for about twenty minutes, which was unusual. He came back in and said, "Class, this is a very sad day." He explained what had happened, and we watched it on TV. He had been a finalist in the Teacher in Space program, and knew Christa McAuliffe well. He left mid day, and we had a substitute for the next two days.


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ljk4-1
post Feb 13 2006, 08:14 PM
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Why the heck is the National Geographic Channel showing this on Valentine's Day?!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2006

Seconds from Disaster: "Columbia's Last Flight" at 9P et/pt

After a successful 16-day mission in space, the shuttle Columbia blows
apart on re-entry, killing the seven astronauts aboard. It was the
biggest loss to NASA since the Challenger in 1986. But could the
tragedy have been avoided?

Visit the National Geographic Channel home page.

http://ng.chtah.com/a/tBD8OHFASJ4TXAcroSHA...R.ASJ-ROuZ/ngs5


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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ljk4-1
post Feb 16 2006, 07:05 PM
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New Book Hails Lost Columbia Shuttle Astronauts

http://www.space.com/news/ft_060215_book_columbia.html

A couple days into Columbia's final mission, freelance writer Philip Chien
realized only a handful of reporters were still covering the science being
performed by the shuttle's crew of seven astronauts.


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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The Messenger
post Feb 16 2006, 09:16 PM
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QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Feb 13 2006, 01:14 PM) *
Why the heck is the National Geographic Channel showing this on Valentine's Day?!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2006

Seconds from Disaster: "Columbia's Last Flight" at 9P et/pt

After a successful 16-day mission in space, the shuttle Columbia blows
apart on re-entry, killing the seven astronauts aboard. It was the
biggest loss to NASA since the Challenger in 1986. But could the
tragedy have been avoided?

Visit the National Geographic Channel home page.

http://ng.chtah.com/a/tBD8OHFASJ4TXAcroSHA...R.ASJ-ROuZ/ngs5

One shuttle engineer's prospective:

After the distruction of Challenger, the position of NASA changed from 'proof to us it is unsafe', to 'prove to us it is safe', which is not always possible. A lot of new testing was imposed, some of it rather useless, but since there were persons in the decision-making loop at NASA who did not seem capable understanding the difference, they were implimented anyway. That is a problem: If there are idiots insisting on tests that prove nothing, how would they interprete unexpected information that may well mean there is a significant problem?

We found out.
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ljk4-1
post Feb 22 2006, 08:56 PM
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Review: Columbia -- Final Voyage
---

The third anniversary of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia came
and went with remarkably little fanfare -- much like the mission
itself prior to its tragic end. Jeff Foust reviews a book that
focuses on the forgotten aspects of the STS-107 mission.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/558/1


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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ljk4-1
post May 24 2006, 08:20 PM
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http://www.cnw.ca/fr/releases/archive/May2006/23/c7268.html

Media 8 To Produce "Challenger" Directed by Philip Kaufman

big swathe of text culled...totally un-necessary, it's all available at the link. Doug.


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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