The date was Tuesday, January 28
. I was living in Windsor
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
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
The disaster was covered in the news for quite a few days after that.