Thoughts on the 35th challenger anniversary.

I didn’t learn about the space shuttle challenger explosion until 1999.I was 2 and a half when it took place. When I did innitially learn about it, I researched an entire book report on the subject. Of course I did a whole report on the book, but I did additional research as well.
I became interested in space flight the year before, when I watched the shuttle Discovery, carrying John Glenn, who was at the time 77 years old, into space.I believe on one of the evening talk shows, they had an interview with Christa McAuliffe’s mother, and that’s how I found out. The next day I asked a teacher what she knew about what happened. This was my sophomore English teacher. I got an answer that stays with me to this day. She became a teacher because of Christa McAuliffe.
Later in 1999, thanks to my itinerant vision teacher, I got to go to space camp. When I was in the simulated space station, the lady I remember her name was Patricia, who operated the station gave me some material. She told me to roll this rubber-like material into a ball. It was rubber, but it was also like clay, you could form it in your hand and do exactly that with it. Patricia, although I believe we called her Trish for short, and she was a girl friend of our team counselor, then told me this was the exact material that contributed to the Challenger disaster. Well first she asked if I remembered. I was thinking well yeah sort of, I only know now what happened after the fact. I said yes anyway, because by then, I did have a full working memory of what happened. When she told me that the exact material I was holding caused the challenger to explode, I remember thinking I should just get rid of it, but I didn’t and nicely gave it back to her anyway. No, I don’t remember what happened next, all I remember is that I just stood there for a second. It’s strange that after 22 years, I can still remember that.

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