Friday, January 28, 2011

Anniversary of the Challenger Morning Marked by NASA

Here is a picture of the sky on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy of the Challenger,
Astronauts who had become familiar, Lost right there in the face and hearts and eyes of all American school children, who had a teacher on board! Millions of our children suffered and learned about sadness and loss that day, each child according to their own understanding or investment into the space program...
There were words, collected and written by Peggy Noonan I believe, that took our hearts up higher, like rising on thermals...

My morning today

Here was the news feed: This is incredibly sad.

Here are the words of the speech:

Noonan drew on the words of
Poet John Gillespie Magee, Jr
High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air....
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.

Where never lark or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Here is the presidential address:

Here is NASA's article with pictures today.excerpt below.

excerpt: "NASA is remembering three major tragedies in its history this week, starting with the 25th anniversary of the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger on Friday.

"This year marks the 25th anniversary of the loss of the Challenger—a tragedy that caused us to completely rethink our systems and processes as we worked to make the shuttle safer," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in an AFP report.
Along with deputy administrator Lori Garver, Bolden honored the lives of those lost in Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia by laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia Thursday morning.

"The nation will never forget Jan. 28, 1986, nor its indelible images," Bolden added.
Challenger's entire crew was killed when the shuttle exploded just 73 seconds after its launch, 46,000 feet in the air. The explosion was broadcast on live television.
In 2003, a faulty heat shield caused Columbia to disintegrate as it re-entered the earth's atmosphere, killing seven astronauts. A fire aboard Apollo 1 proved fatal for the vessel's crew of three in 1967. This mission was the first of NASA's manned trips to the moon.
Since 1964, 24 people have been killed in a NASA mission, but NASA says it has learned since then.
"Safety is the number one priority at NASA and the shuttle launch schedule does not drive discussions or decisions when issues arise," a NASA spokesperson told PCMag. "That is reiterated often and is apparent in media events about the issues."

Perhaps the most telling example is the recent delays in the coming launch of Space Shuttle Discovery. The ship was originally set to take off on its final voyage on Nov. 1, but due to leaks, inclement weather, electrical issues, and equipment problems, the mission was delayed more than a half a dozen times. It's now scheduled to lift off Feb. 24.
"NASA has learned hard lessons from each of our tragedies, and they are lessons that we will continue to keep at the forefront of our work as we continuously strive for a culture of safety that will help us avoid our past mistakes and heed warnings while corrective measures are possible," Bolden said.

After Discovery, the shuttle Endeavor is supposed to launch in April 18, the AFP said. Additionally, if Congress hands over the necessary funds, NASA is hoping to send Space Shuttle Atlantis into orbit for an additional trip.
In October, President Obama signed the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, which added an additional flight to the space shuttle fleet before its retirement The administration is looking at a June launch for Atlantis, but it's lacking several hundred million dollars necessary to get the ship off the ground. "


  1. I was ordering a Crab salad sub sandwich in Ft Lauderdale, and the guy had a tv on - I do not remember eating it... but standing there while ordering.. a Photographer friend who had been/gone up to every other launch (Every) did not go this time, it had gotten routine..
    for the next few days i was printing rolls of film coming in; from folks who shot this off the TV set..
    Ironic sometime later i read an article about the 'remains' that few people ever knew and was stunned to find a small truck with 50 gal 'black barrels' had passed through Ft. Lauderdale in the dark of night.

  2. Do you mean to say the remains of the dead were found, or some metal, or the ship, and were brought quietly into the state? What do you make of that?
    Are you a photographer? What kinds of film were you processing? What was it like in Florida? I am too young to rememer much but it seems very toughing.

  3. Sorry I mean, "very touching"-- it was hard to watch this footage.

  4. Yes i am a Photographer and worked at a professional color lab there. The article i read was about how the astronauts/crew really died and the situation... no one wants to know these realities, and yes the remains collected from the wreckage of the shuttle module were indeed 'collected' an placed in these drums and transported back up to northern Florida or where ever- its not a pretty thought and the general population wants to think they died instantly and that was not the case. I was stunned that i was there as those remains came through my area it made it all so much more close for me, but I have no special connection; the article is surely available online if one chooses to find it, back then there was no internet- so it was just a dogged reporter finding the truth of what really happened to the Crew and their remains.
    the film was mostly 35mm rolls coming into my work station and that was more than I had seen on TV- i was not glued to the media as i am now. I did save a few of one guys photos for myself- they were extra or test prints- which I normally would never do as a Artist and Photographer myself- but since they were off the TV i figured or rationalized a handful of 3x5's of all that would not infringe on anyone (except the TV station) and i have not looked at them in years. Yes its hard to see the footage - ESPECIALLY if you read that article - basically they did not die until the shuttle hit the water, and I do not think writing the rest here is what people want to know... I hope you can figure out what I am saying?
    So a few years ago when the other shuttle burned up on a bad re-entry over TX that was sadly frightening..
    Its kind of like understanding that Lee Harvey Oswald could Never have - in 'the laws of Physics' fired that weapon at JFK nor had the outcome the GOV wanted that generation of our parents and Grandparents were told to believe - same here we need to feel better not knowing how these crews really died. sorry to rant on..