Challenger explodes-January 28, 1986

Shawn Mamros
Mon Jan 30 12:49:10 EST 2012

I was hanging out at WMBR in between classes (I was a sophomore then)
when one of the DJs told me he had heard from a caller that Challenger
had exploded.  I remember he had tears in his eyes when he said it.
My own reaction was one of stunned semi-disbelief.

I ran to find the closest news source I could find - a boombox in the
office, which I tuned to (pretty sure it was) WBZ.  (We used to have an
AP wire - in fact, we probably had one of the last of the JFK-era(*)
Teletype machines in operation as late as 1985 or so - but had just
recently discontinued the service as it was eating up almost half of
our operating budget at that point.)  We relayed some information
from there as best we could.

Ron McNair did his Ph.D. work at MIT, and I know of at least one
WMBR/WTBS alum who knew him while he was there.  Appropriately, one
of the buildings housing the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
was renamed in his honor.

(*) I call it that because I've seen our old AP machine's twin at
the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, in a display that also showed some
of the actual wire copy from "that day".


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