Friday, January 28, 2011
Up Way Before The Sun 25 Years After The Space Shuttle Challenger Blew Up
It is currently a relatively balmy 11 degrees above freezing.
I was surprised when I saw that today marks a quarter century, 25 years, since the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up soon after it was launched.
I do not remember if I was watching that launch live, or not. Were launches even carried live at this point? Again, I don't remember. Had CNN been born by January 28, 1986? I don't remember.
The idea of sending a school teacher into space as some sort of stunt seems sort of bizarre to me now, 25 years later.
The coolest thing I've seen since I've been in Texas, even cooler than my first Ice Storm experience, was the night landing of a Space Shuttle. We'd been told what time to watch the western sky. I was starting to think this was going to be a dud when suddenly a bright white ball of light appeared above the barn. Moving incredibly fast.
I don't remember which of the Space Shuttles this was. As it streaked across the sky the Space Shuttle left a glowing trail behind it. Most spectacular thing I have ever seen above me. Ten minutes later I was inside watching the Space Shuttle land in Cape Canaveral.
And now the era of Space Shuttles is about to end, with America once again not having a manned space flight program.
Way back when the Challenger blew up could anyone have imagined a scenario where America would be relying on the Soviets, which is what we called Russians back then, to take Americans to space in a Soyuz capsule?