Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
NASA Transportation

30 Years Since The Challenger Disaster: Where Were You? (space.com) 320

Martin S. writes: Thirty years ago today, NASA suffered a spaceflight tragedy that stunned the world and changed the agency forever. When I mentioned this at work most of my colleagues are too young to remember this first hand. When I heard the news, I was in a middle-school science class; our teacher walked us solemnly over to the school library, where we watched the television news. It hit especially hard because one of our other teachers had pursued the slot that was eventually filled by Christa McAuliffe.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

30 Years Since The Challenger Disaster: Where Were You?

Comments Filter:
  • Elementary school (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    In the gym, watching the launch with the rest of the school. I only remember the explosion, hearing gasps and then crying.

    • by Chas ( 5144 )

      This is almost exactly my experience.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        I think this is roughly all our experience. I can't remember exactly as I was very young, but it was probably either the classroom or the Library back before they started calling them Media Centers.

        School districts usually have staff whose job is to provide counseling to students when they're subject to stressful situations that are school-caused. I don't know how the hell they did it back then, when nearly every child in the entire country was subjected to a stressful situation that was, in-part, scho
        • I was in the 6th grade when this happened and the students were broke up younger students together and the older student in another area all watching the launch. after the explosion the older students all sat there and watched while some of them that wanted to leave went to the auditorium and kept the younger student occupied while most of staff was so stunned they couldn't function.

          On sept 11 I was in college {yes I was in college until I was 30 and would still like to go back} and I saw a large group of p

          • by Dins ( 2538550 )
            10th grade health class. We weren't watching the launch, but the principal came on the PA to announce the accident. Everyone just sort of sat in stunned silence for a while. I went home for lunch to see what I could see on TV, but couldn't find it in the few minutes home I had. Big difference from today when somebody would whip out their phone and stream it to the class projector.
            • Cell phones and internet didn't exist in the way they do now not even when my oldest son was in school, the youngest on the other hand has no idea what it's like to live in a world where you aren't connected to the internet able to look up anything you want any time or any where and carry it all around with you in your pocket. I've seen him and his friends text each other while they were in the same room as apposed to actually speaking.

              He texts and facebooks from his cell phone constantly even when at schoo

        • I was in Grade 7 reading in the library when my best friend came up and told me that the Challenger had blown up. I thought he was lying, but when I got into class the teacher confirmed it.

          When I got home from school I basically stayed pasted to the TV until I went to bed. It was one of the more surreal moments of my life, my generation's JFK, I suppose.

          • "my generation's JFK"
            I've never thought of it like that, but I think that is insightful. I was born after JFK and his assassination doesn't have much more meaning for me than the assassination of Caligula. But the Challenger disaster... it's as poignant for me as September 11. And I imagine baby boomers would say the JFK assassination was a poignant for them. I know my Mom has talked about where she was when she found out JFK was killed (high school).

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      Also elementary school. It was on TV in the library, although they may have called it the Media Center at that point.

      It certainly made a big impression on me, as it is one of the things I remember pretty clearly.

      Still, while I knew it was pretty horrible, it didn't really cause me to become overly anxious or sad or anything. If someone had given me grief counseling for it, I'd probably have been sort of bored. I think I knew, even then, that space was not always safe and that when you strap people to a g

    • Exactly, me too! In the gym watching the launch, and then almost the entire school was in tears. I could never forget it.
  • Where was I? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kultiras ( 2589819 ) on Thursday January 28, 2016 @01:32PM (#51389365)
    I was probably pooping myself at home. I was only seven months old.
  • Installing a Novell Network. We all gathered in the conference room to watch.

    [John]

    • Installing a Novell Network. We all gathered in the conference room to watch.

      This seems like such an age-specific question. I expect most of us who were adults 30 years ago were just putting in our usual workday. We weren't watching the launch, though, and didn't find out until a coworker's wife called to tell us about it.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        This seems like such an age-specific question. I expect most of us who were adults 30 years ago were just putting in our usual workday. We weren't watching the launch, though, and didn't find out until a coworker's wife called to tell us about it.

        Which makes it more interesting to ask.

        Because one of the reasons a civilian was on board the shuttle was to renew interest in the space program - you might forget, but at the time, shuttle launches were becoming regular things, and fairly boring. (24 previous laun

      • I don't know. I was an adult with a full-time job by the time of September 11 and we spent the whole day crowded around a computer at work. Just like when I was in middle school we spent the day crowded around the tv in the library during the Challenger disaster. I'm fairly certain they had TV when JFK was killed (I jest! kinda) and I imagine people crowded around TVs then as well, though maybe not. Perhaps TVs weren't prevalent enough back then.

    • Installing a Novell Network. We all gathered in the conference room to watch.

      And then everyone heard about Challenger, and the Novell-Network-installation-watch had to be disbanded.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      And I was studying Space Technology in Kiruna then.

      It was like WTF am I doing... It was quite a downturn at that moment.

  • Thankfully not watching the launch, they interrupted class and announced the tragedy over the PA and we sat and discussed what it meant for a long time. I think I was just old enough to grasp the severity of it, it was certainly clear from the reaction of our teacher and the tone of the PA announcement. Very memorable moment in my life.
  • ... live, like million of others people I guess
    • I watched it live. But I normally wouldn't have as it was very early in the morning (PST) and I normally didn't watch TV in the morning anyway. But my roommate had his girlfriend over and I was sleeping on the couch. Found it hard to sleep so I sat up and turned on the TV. Then I thought "oh ya, today is the space shuttle launch" and the launch was just starting or starting soon.

      (Memory being what it is, fluid and unreliable and definitely not photographic, there's probably something wrong with the stor

  • with the rest of my class. Space Shuttle launches were something they stopped classes for back then, but we were all excited about this one because we knew a teacher was on the flight, and we would actually be taught LESSONS FROM SPACE. That was probably one of the most exciting things I could have imagined back then.
    • I was also, I even know which teacher's room I was in and what she looked like (my memory of younger years kind of sucks, but I remember that). We had the TV on the cart wheeled in so we could watch the launch. I don't remember much about what we did after the explosion, but I can point to the specific room where I was and who was there.

    • Yea same. I was in 2rd grade? My mother had me going to our church's school. It was very small, like 25 kids per grade and only kindergarten to 3th. Grades 1-3 were (kindergarten was in nap time I think) were in the TV room that had the big 29 inch floor TV that we watched PBS shows on. We watched it launch and explode. I still remember it today even though most of the rest of that school time there was a blur. Oh that and Halley's Comet. Funny how the only two things I really remember from those grad

  • 5th grade. One of the students from an adjacent classroom ran in and breathlessly announced that the shuttle had blown up. Instant silence. My teacher walked to the other 5th grade classroom to confer with the teacher there, then they opened the partition between the two classrooms and wheeled in the TV-and-VCR-on-a-cart so we could all watch the news together. I just remember feeling like I had been kicked in the gut.
  • I was 5 at the time, so I have some very vague memories of people being upset about it, but I don't remember any specifics. I remember more about the aftermath over the next couple years as my childhood memories start solidifying, plus my family was big into aerospace and the space program in general.

  • I was about 1 month away from being conceived. The first national tragedy (if you can call it that) I remember is the 1996 Olympics bombing, and that's just because I had just left the Olympics that night and it happened sometime between the time we left and the time we got home about 1.5 hours later.
    • by IMightB ( 533307 )

      Holy Crap are you a cousin of mine? I had the exact same experience at the 96 Olympics. We got home, turned on the TV and were like holy crap! we just all walked through that area!

  • Lived in central FL at the time... 5th grade. We were moving stuff for a play. I was all excited about the 'separation' because I hadn't seen a day launch yet. Just night. I thought it was normal, but couldn't figure out why the number of objects (smoke plumes, really) we could see didn't add up to 2 srb's and 1 shuttle...

  • by Erbo ( 384 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (obreerbo)> on Thursday January 28, 2016 @01:49PM (#51389619) Homepage Journal
    I was a senior in high school that day. My civics class was interrupted by the principal coming on the PA system to tell everyone that Challenger had exploded and crashed into the ocean. We were all rather stunned by that news.

    After that class was our morning break period. I immediately went to my next class, which was physics. In the back of the classroom, many of my classmates were huddled around a portable radio, listening to the news. No one said much. (I didn't actually see the video footage of the explosion until I got home that day.)

    Yet the gods do not give lightly of the powers they have made,
    And with
    Challenger and seven, once again the price is paid,
    Though a nation watched her falling, yet a world could only cry,
    As they passed from us to glory, riding fire in the sky!

    - From "Fire In The Sky," written by Jordin Kare

  • I was in third grade and we had a TV set up to watch the first teacher get launched into space. I had relatives working at NASA at the time and was obsessed with space so seeing it happen live in class was just that much more traumatic.
  • Memories ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudsononl ... Nom minus author> on Thursday January 28, 2016 @01:50PM (#51389639) Journal

    I had been following the space program since I was a kid, so I had read the book that was published after the Apollo 1 fire that also pointed out other problems with NASA safety - in particular the shuttle's SRBs using o-rings and segments instead of a single-piece srb as mandated by the military, because the only way to ship the rings from the pork-barred supplier (martin-thiokol) to nasa was in pieces by barge.

    I had stopped by my mother and was watching it on tv when I saw what looked like a small plume of gas coming out the side of one of the srbs, and immediately said "bet you it's a joint failure." A few seconds later, ka-boom.

    The whole disaster could have been prevented if the manufacturing plant had been located close enough to the launch facility not to have required the srbs to be shipped in segments. The real disaster has always been political influence on procurement programs.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      As I recall, the SRBs were shipped in segments because they couldn't cure the propellant properly in a single large mass.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      The real disaster has always been political influence on procurement programs.

      I suppose the good news is NASA has learned from their mistakes. Now they just keep pushing the SLS schedule back, which avoids having a launch failure by not having a launch, while the Space Industrial Complex continues to receive their pork.

  • I was waiting to be borned. Another 10 years! Not even sure what a "space shuttle" is.
  • We could actually see the shuttles go up and it was a once-a-week gifted pull-out class, so we were outside watching it directly. It looked really strange, with the contrail splitting and curving oddly, and we had to go back inside to figure what had happened. I vaguely recall being sent off to play while the teachers regained their composure. That, I think, was the worst possible launch to have an accident on -- but, for the same reasons, the pressure to launch on schedule was that much higher.
  • I remember not having school on that day. I was all hyped up watching this live on TV. Like the commentators, it took me a moments reflection to realize the deflagration was not normal. I remember being quite shocked by it. When my mother came in from work and I announced it to her, I was amazed at the indifference she exhibited, contrasting my thorn feelings on it.

  • At work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whitroth ( 9367 ) <whitroth.5-cent@us> on Thursday January 28, 2016 @01:58PM (#51389747) Homepage

    Programming, when my manager and another programmer walked by my cube, and told me they were going to what I jokingly referred to as the "accessory meeting room" (the bar next door). They told me Challenger had exploded, I joined them, and we all had drinks as we watched the reruns on the tv over the bar.

    *shit*

    Fucking "launch it anyway, the President wants to mention it in his State of the Union speech tonight".

                    mark

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Testing, in the lab, when someone broke security regs and brought in an AM radio and told us, "The shuttle just blew up".

      I said, "You're shitting me."

      He turned on the radio, and nothing else got done that day.

  • I skipped school that day to watch the launch. We had a satellite receiver and I found the NASA wild feeds (the unfiltered video that is sent out without all the talking heads and commentary). It really gave a different take on the disaster than what was on the networks. Much more unfiltered, at least until they killed all transmission.
  • In Utero (Score:4, Informative)

    by Scottingham ( 2036128 ) on Thursday January 28, 2016 @02:01PM (#51389777)

    I personally was about 5 months shy of dropping out, but my father-in-law was best friends with the pilot of the Challenger. They grew up together in Beaufort, NC and both went to the Naval Academy (my father-in-law went into submarines though). He and my mother-in-law were invited to go down to the launch but couldn't because she had just given birth to my wife!

    He's still pissed off about it. It was a purely political decision to launch that day. The engineers said they shouldn't and said there was an unnecessary risk due to exact problem that ended up happening. But because it was already delayed several times before, they were pressured to launch against the engineer's recommendations. Because of that people needlessly died.

    • He's still pissed off about it. It was a purely political decision to launch that day. The engineers said they shouldn't and said there was an unnecessary risk due to exact problem that ended up happening. But because it was already delayed several times before, they were pressured to launch against the engineer's recommendations. Because of that people needlessly died.

      But, as Paul Harvey says, there's the rest of the story... The engineers leave out the part where they designed a flawed joint in the firs

  • I was in a band called Warrren Frank's Current Name. We played in the Cellar, the U of Arizona Student Union hot spot, for the Eat To The Beat concert series that day. I heard the news on the radio of my 1959 Cadillac as I was driving the equipment over to the place at nine AM.
    Naturally, our audience was all upstairs, watching events unfold in the big public TV set. It was all right, as the band was doomed anyways.
  • My immediate reaction to them was to tell them "and I still want nothing more than to fly on the shuttle, I'd be on it tomorrow if given the chance."
  • ironically (Score:5, Interesting)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Thursday January 28, 2016 @02:05PM (#51389815) Journal

    I'm probably one of the few people in this country that found out about the Challenger explosion with a sigh of relief.

    I was a senior in HS, and was taking classes offsite at a local college in the mornings. I had a tape deck in my car, so I rarely listened to news in the morning, and I think that day I'd even decided to skip class, sleep in, and screw around. So I'm minding my own business every morning.

    I had to check in to my HS for the afternoon, though. When I walked into school, it was quiet. Like, CREEPY quiet...there were something like 2500 students in my highschool, it was lunchtime, and nearly completely silent. As I came into the commons, I could see that everyone - hundreds of kids and teachers alike - was just shocked, gobsmacked.

    This was the 1980s. The era of Red Dawn, Reagan, The Day After, and 50,000 nuclear warheads. I genuinely feared that nuclear war had been announced.

    When my g/f told me that the Challenger blew up, I may have even said aloud "Oh? Is that all?"

    To this day, what I remember of that moment was my feeling of tremendous relief.

    • After reading the first line of your comment I was ready to fire off a reply along the lines of 'fuck off you callous...etc'

      However, given what you thought happened does really put it into perspective and I likely would have felt the same. I never had to live with the fear of nuclear war, so it's hard to imagine the kind of stress and fear that could cause. To think that the 'unthinkable' had happened must have been a gut-punch.

  • I was in high school, studying at a friend's house for our biology midterm, when her sister came running down the stairs shouting "The Challenger just went up." And my friend said "Yes, the Challenger is going up today." And the sister said "No, no, it blew up."

    A couple of years later, I was in college taking Freshman Physics 102. The professor was supposed to be running an experiment on the (grounded) Space Shuttle. Instead, he was teaching Freshman Physics 102. And he never let us forget that. I thi

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday January 28, 2016 @02:09PM (#51389861)

    Watching from the beach, after my dad decided we should skip school to go watch.

    I have pictures of it from before launch til after the anomoly occurred ... And several pictures of random shots that happened when I stood in shock and awe looking at the sky and not realizing I was still pushing the button until my dad grabbed me and pointed out I was out of film.

    I was in 3rd grade.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MrMonty ( 366322 )

      umm... pics or it didn't happen?

      If they're halfway decent or historically interesting, how about scan them, post them somewhere. Give us a link.

  • We were on a touring yacht around Antigua. As a result, we only got sporadic radio reports for the first few hours. Bit of a downer in the middle of an otherwise idyllic setting.

    Once I found out the contract was "wired" (i.e. internal nepotistic corruption) for Morton Thiokol and they refused to build onsite, and that that was the only reason the damn two-piece body was chosen over a single structure, I was thoroughly pissed off.

    • Actually I think it's a four-piece body and the successor company is researching a five-piece body for the Space Launch System. (TIL)
  • I was highschool age. There was no school that day. I slept in. I was having a dream about this crystal perfume decanter that was one of those "don't you dare touch that because you might break it" objects in the house. In the dream, I had removed the top which is a thin 3-sided pyramid about six inches tall. I fumbled the top. I was like "oh crap, gotta get this back on". For some reason I couldn't get it back on straight. I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. It was my Mom. She told me to

  • I was in HS and stayed home that day ("sick") to specifically watch the launch. I remember when it blew apart and knew instantly that is was over. The announcer on TV kept going on and on and on about how there might be a problem, this doesn't seem normal, they're checking the status, etc. I was screaming at the announcer to shut-up, understand, and realize a bunch of people just died. He didn't hear me.

  • I was on hold with the local library to renew a book, and someone turned on the TV nearby and I saw the news. When the librarian came back online I asked her if they had a TV there, and she replied,"No, why?" I told her the Challenger appeared to have exploded during launch, and she said,"That's terrible, and that teacher was on it too wasn't she." I said yeah she was, and there was a pause, and then we went back to renewing my book. All day it was the news, Dan Rather trotting out shuttle models and point
  • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Thursday January 28, 2016 @02:30PM (#51390093)

    I was at home, working on my plumbing, wondering why I received space grade o-rings instead of the cheap ones I ordered.

  • I remember watching the launch and aftermath on the Dinnie's Den (the campus bar) big screen TV. Thinking back now, the weeks immediately following included an off-colour lost-and-found ad in the campus newspaper, which was then turned into an awesome (but still inappropriate) prank on its editors by some students with whom I may or may not have been associated.
  • by Nick ( 109 ) on Thursday January 28, 2016 @02:34PM (#51390137) Journal
    Watched it live in elementary school, several adult faculty/staff sighed out exclamations in dirty words, which made a lot of the younger kids laugh at hearing this and initially getting scolded for what was perceived as laughter over the tragedy.
  • My school (or maybe just my teacher) thought it would be great an inspirational for the kids to watch the launch. It was quickly turned off.
  • At RPI (a geek school), whenever Star Trek was on they put it up on the big TV in the student union.
    If you pass through the first floor of the union between classes and see a hundred people all looking at the TV, that's what you expect to see.
    They weren't watching Star Trek.

    I still remember those demon horns curling into the sky and thinking WTF is this?
    For a while the fear was that we'd build something so complex that we couldn't maintain it for long enough to use it.
    still get a chill thinking about that d

  • all I remember is the vehicle clearing the towwer, a big cloud of birds, and a big ball of fire... and every space nerd in my school (myself included) bawling for a week.

  • I was in my teens over mid-winter break and my father had taken me down to Florida to watch a Space Shuttle launch since I loved the space program so much.

    Every day for the week we had gotten up before dawn, trudged out in the cold and driven to the Visitor's Center to be bused out to the Visitor viewing area on the peninsula across from the launching area.

    I remember when it launched everyone cheering, and then it exploded and people were confused that it didn't look right.

    The bus driver who had seen lots o

  • ...the live video of pieces hitting the water, and then all live feeds being abruptly cut off? And then never seeing that impact footage again?
  • by digitalPhant0m ( 1424687 ) on Thursday January 28, 2016 @02:58PM (#51390347)

    Our teacher applied for the program and was one of what was probably many alternates for the Christa McAuliffe spot.

    Everything we did that year revolved around NASA and the space program. I

    It hit home when we realized that our teacher could have possibly been on that ship.

  • Another student walked into our college art class saying it blew up. On the way back to the dorm I stopped by the student union, and saw the endlessly looping clip of it disintegrating, with the booster rockets careening away. Watching that made all those sci-fi novels I'd read as a kid seem more distant. I later found out my high school physics teacher (who was really great) had made it into the top 12 candidates for the "Teacher in Space" program.
  • I was in the gymnasium with the rest of the school to watch the launch. After the explosion, they cancelled classes, and sent us home. It was weird, because I was excited to get an early release from school, but also sad that it was because of why they let us out.
  • Woke up in the morning, and walked to the front door. Milkman dispensed half a liter of fresh milk from a can, groggily picked up The Indian Express, (Bangalore edition) and it was front page news with the iconic contrail picture. I was an aerospace engg grad, working for a Dept of Defense in unmanned aircraft, and was following space news well, so it was a big shock to me. Indian English newspapers do a pretty good job of covering the world and was quite to up to date. Sadly the newspapers in America prove
  • I was 16, and a sophomore in high school. We were watching it live on TV, when it exploded in front of us. We were horrified and students were crying. It was hard. There was an extra emotional element, our old 6th grade teacher Robert Forrester was the runner up for that program. If for some reason Christie couldn't go, he would have been next. When we were in 6th grade, he would always tell us that he was going to go up in space and we never thought he would have gotten a shot. But he got as far as
  • I was right in the cockpit next to the pilot

    Signed,

    Brian Williams

  • I was driving to a job interview at TRW. This was noteworthy because TRW made the communications satellite that was in the bay of the Challenger when it exploded that morning. Needless to say, the folks in the office were a bit stunned.
  • My knee jerk reaction while at work concentrating at a particular task, someone ran in "the Challenger just blew up!" As I remember the day before when launch was scrubbed because they couldn't remove the door mechanism off side hatch. A handle assembly is attached to side hatch on Orbiter for crew entry, hatch is closed, and White Room techs remove this assembly. However, some bolts were stuck, they couldn't remove the assembly (was taking too long) so the launch was scrubbed. Meanwhile media people were c

  • We were watching the launch on TV in our Elementary school (I want to say I was in 4th grade) science class.

    That class more-or-less became the Challenger discussion class from then on. We followed all of the latest developments in the investigation and I want to say (though I don't recall 100%) that it was in this same class that we learned about the O-ring problem and what it meant.

  • I was in an ethnic grocery store fronting Bloor St W, somewhere between Ossington and Dufferin, buying rutabagas to make a vegetable stock for a fancy Swedish meatball recipe (three different kinds of ground meat) from The Joy of Cooking, when the radio behind the cash register booth came on with the breaking news.

    I can even recall where I was standing in relationship to the interior shelving. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure I had been reading Surely You're Joking just a week earlier (not that the connection

  • I was all of like, 1.5 years old, so probably naked wandering around the house eating Cheetos straight from the bag, getting the cat all orange.
  • I was really into the space shuttle--I used to build models of various proposed space shuttles when I was a teenager into model rocketry. At the time of the disaster, I had found my way into a program in the psych department at the local community college that tried to study the effects of living in enclosed spaces by using a space shuttle mockup built out of plywood, TV monitors, some Atari 800s and electronic hardware from the surplus yard down in Taunton. It was very not realistic, but at the same ti

  • Except that it was a very cold January morning in NJ and that the jokes started flying maybe an hour after it happened. (please don't kill the messenger here)
  • ... in college, at the time. Another student came into the room and asked, "Did you hear the Challenger exploded?" He was a well-known practical joker, so I figured this was just another one of his jokes. The fact that he was an engineering student and delivered the news in a completely deadpan voice didn't help, any. When he turned on the TV to show me, I couldn't believe it. I'm pretty sure it took about an hour to really sink in, and I couldn't do anything for the rest of the day but sit there and watch

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      Roughly the same for me (heard it from someone that I thought of as being a bullshitter), except that I was in the main computer terminals room, and had to go down to the student center in the basement to see it on TV.
  • Whenever the shuttle was scheduled to launch, most classes took a break and we filed out to the playground to watch. And that day was no exception.

    I got in my first significant playground fight that day. While most of us were staring in horror at what had happened, the new kid was pumped, thought it was "totally wicked" and was cheering enthusiastically. This being Florida, where school kids practically worshipped astronauts and it was very obvious that seven of them had just died, I punched him right in

  • I had just started a two year assignment to the IBM Boca Raton laboratory from the UK. I had arrived in the US on a plane to Miami on January 22nd, and I was still in a hotel room, working for most of the day and getting out in the later afternoon to meet with realtors to find somewhere to live. In those days, IBM paid hotel and car expenses for four weeks, but after that you were on your own. I was in a meeting in Boca, when an old time IBMer called Ron Cope knocked the door, came in and announced the news
  • When I heard the news, I was in a middle-school science class; our teacher walked us solemnly over to the school library, where we watched the television news.

  • I was probably in my crib or whatever, given I was like a year old. :p

  • The engineers at my office wanted to watch the launch, so we invaded the accounting office that had the windows facing the Space Center. It was a beautiful launch, up to the time the exhaust trail forked, forming a "Y". The accountants all said, "Oh, look how beautiful!" The engineers all said, "Uh-oh. That's not supposed to happen. . . ."

  • As I recall I was temporarily between jobs and decided to watch the launch at home with my wife, who worked nights as a nurse. Being a big fan of the Shuttle, I tried to watch every launch, and when I saw the large y-shaped cloud, I realized something had gone *seriously* wrong.. The rest of the day was a blur.. Then again in 2003, I realized I had a good chance to see the firey trail of Columbia reentering the atmosphere, as the reentry path was close enough to Las Vegas to see in the northern sky. So I go

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      I was at an anime convention downtown (Austin) that weekend, staying at the hotel, and that morning I had decided to drive home to check up on the internets. When I got home, it was already on Drudge. I realized that while I had been driving up I-35, it had broken up in roughly the direction I was facing while driving. I also lost a digital camera memory card that weekend, fucking SmartMedia flash cards, and fuck Olympus for using them (in their smaller xD version) way after SD was the clear winner. It was
  • I used to ride my bike about ten miles to work each day at a small Unix software developer in Brookline MA. I wheeled my bike through the front door and noticed the secretary was sitting at her desk with a stunned expression.

    "What's wrong?" I asked.

    "It blew up," she said. You know how in books people who are overwhelmed with shock say things "in a hollow voice"? That was how she said it; I'd never actually heard anyone talk in that voice before.

    "What blew up?"

    "The Shuttle. It blew up."

    So we all gathered

Never let someone who says it cannot be done interrupt the person who is doing it.

Working...