The Challenger explosion is one of those moments, like 9/11, that if you’re old enough, you remember exactly where you were when you heard the news. I was a second year science teacher in Holly Hill, Florida. Although I’ve always had an interest in space exploration, being a science teacher in Florida made following the progress of our shuttle program a natural. For the first time ever, a civilian, a teacher was riding along!
I had just taken my students to lunch and was heading in to the teacher’s lounge when the lift-off occurred. Most of us went outside because we knew we’d be able to see the trail left as the shuttle headed up. As we watched we could see what appeared to be a separation and two different trails forming. Someone said what I was thinking, “This doesn’t look right.” We all headed to the tv to learn that the shuttle had exploded. We were stunned. Afterwards, it felt like the nation was in mourning. We had lost true American heroes.
I look forward to Challenger: The Final Flight.
Executive produced by J.J. Abrams and Glen Zipper, Challenger: The Final Flight is a four-part docuseries that examines the 1986 Challenger space shuttle, which tragically broke apart 73 seconds after launch as millions of Americans watched live on television. Incorporating never-before-seen interviews and rare archival material, this series offers an in-depth look at one of the most diverse crews NASA assembled, including high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, who was selected to be the first private citizen in space.