Challenger explodes-January 28, 1986

Ric Werme
Mon Jan 30 20:31:34 EST 2012

[Non-radio guy still mostly lurking]

I grew up with the manned space program - I stayed in from grade school
recess to listen to the radio-over-PA-system of Alan Shepard's suborbital

The evening after the announcement of Christa McAuliffe's choice as
teacher-in-space, she flew back to Manchester, so I joined the motley
crew of well-wishers who showed up to great her.  (Our crowd included
two people from the Highlander Inn who brought bagpipes.)

The morning of the launch I was home watching on WMUR.  After liftoff,
I relaxed - no more risk of "holds" - as all the previous launches had
gone well.  My first thought at the moment of the explosion was that it
was a rather messy SRB separation, then I realized it wasn't time for
that event, and around the mention of "major malfunction" I had realized
what had happened.

I called into work to tell them I wasn't going in and watched the coverage for
a while, fully expecting that on one of the replays I'd see the Challenger
emerge from the cloud, but it never did.

  -Ric Werme

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