"Challenger, go at throttle up." President Reagan's Challenger Disaster Speech - 1/28/86

Now........ that man was a magnificent LEADER.

Posted by Hangtown Bob at January 28, 2016 11:23 AM

I just can't. As a Florida girl, I just can't bear it. I can still remember looking up at the horrible, wrong contrails.

A local guy, Mike Reynolds of Jacksonville, was up for the Teacher in Space gig and was passed over for Sally Ride. He was the alternate. He has never gotten over it, either. It haunts him.

All that engineering. All that fail-safe protocol. All that brain-power. All that cold. And someone, somewhere said, "Nah, it'll be fine."

Posted by Joan of Argghh! at January 28, 2016 4:56 PM

"...the crew compartment suddenly engulfed in brilliant orange flame ... fireball..."

No, not just the fuel prematurely burning.
Breaking through its bond of flesh, yearning,
'Twas the crew's single spirit's force
A new bright star on its heavenward course.

Posted by Howard Nelson at January 28, 2016 6:12 PM

Let's not forget what happened next. The DC filth made it crime to touch the debris that they had rained down on people's private property.

Posted by Bill Jones at January 28, 2016 7:26 PM

And let's not forget those loved ones left behind. In the musical tears of Ashokan Farewell --

and some of its lyrics --
"... My thoughts will return to the sound of your laughter,
The magic of moving as one,
And a time we'll remember long ever after
The moonlight and music and dancing are done.

Will we climb the hills once more?
Will we walk the woods together?
Will I feel you holding me close once again?
Will every song we've sung stay with us forever?
Will you dance in my dreams or my arms until then?

Posted by Howard Nelson at January 28, 2016 7:53 PM

O-ring design (including operating temperature & pressure) is a very basic part of engineering a system in which dangerous fluids are kept within pipes. That NASA should have gotten this so wrong is quite unbelievable.

Posted by Andy Texan at January 28, 2016 8:32 PM

...That NASA should have gotten this so wrong is quite unbelievable...

Not so fast there.
Everything was engineered correctly, as evidenced by the tens of successful flights. Management (not Engineering) forced the issue of the launch occurring in conditions that were outside of design specs (too cold out).
Having said that, I do wish that Engineering had stuck to their principles and refused to participate.

I watched this happen from my back yard in Melbourne, FL.

Posted by Charlie at January 29, 2016 10:07 AM

Charlie, NPR just released this, after 30 years:

It's horrible to contemplate the poor, good engineer who feels he didn't say enough. Dear man.

Posted by Joan of Argghh! at January 30, 2016 9:32 AM

High Flight
By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

"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.
Hovering 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."

Cut and pasted with leaking eyes...
God be with you.

Posted by tomw at January 30, 2016 9:53 AM

Today's 'leader':

The shuttle crashed.
Gotta go, tee time in 25...

Yeah, I doan like'im.

Posted by tomw at January 30, 2016 9:55 AM


NASA's part in the O-ring design that they got so wrong was not the actual design of the ring but the managerial decision that the operating conditions in which the O-ring was sound could be bypassed.

Posted by Andy Texan at January 31, 2016 6:39 PM

WE all saw it. True, it wasn't hidden. But why it happened was hidden- namely sabotage. We pay large prices for allowing foreign influence into our country, including the loss of our liberty because of the necessity of enhanced security everywhere.

Posted by Gerard at February 1, 2016 10:34 AM