The date was Tuesday, January 28, 1986. I was living in Windsor, Ontario at the time. Home sick from school. Eighth grade. Lying on the sofa that was pulled out to be my bed for the day. I was watching television from there, most likely The Price is Right. There was an interuption and Peter Jennings came on to report that the space shuttle Challenger was blown to bits. 73 seconds into the flight.

I saw the images of the plume and the trails from the two solid rocket boosters which were now free from the destroyed shuttle and main tank. It wasn't something we were supposed to be seeing.

It took a full 5 minutes to realize that my jaw was still dropped. Just like Deadbolt, all that time I was thinking "the space shuttle is not supposed to do that." Repeated several times. It's supposed to leave the pad, roll a little, keep picking up speed, after a few minutes the 2 SLR's drop off, and then the main tank, and voila, the shuttle is in orbit. Open the bay doors and astronauts to their astronaut things. I was a nerdy little kid, fascinated with the stars and space programs. It was a shock. It was a jolt of reality. Manned space travel is very risky and it was demonstrated for the whole world.

The disaster was covered in the news for quite a few days after that.