KPCC listeners share memories of Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

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NASA astronaut Robert Crippen (C, first row), the Space Shuttle Challenger crew commander, pose in January 1983 in Johnson Space Center, Houston, with his crewmembers, Astronauts Frederick Hauck (R), Shuttle pilot, Sally Ride (L), John Fabian and Norman Thagard, mission specialists.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, when the shuttle disintegrated into a fireball shortly after liftoff. People have been sharing their memories of that day on KPCC’s Facebook page.

A lot of the KPCC fans who’ve shared their memories of the Challenger disaster were kids in school at that point.

The Challenger mission included a woman who was supposed to be the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe. Kids were excited about that. They gathered around TVs in classrooms around the country to watch.

Michael de la Torre of Long Beach was in an English class. He says everyone in the class cried. De la Torre says ever since then, he can’t watch a shuttle launch without remembering “that awful plume of smoke.”

Lina Velasco says she was in 5th grade at the time and her teacher had focused on the flight for weeks. She says they’d even hung pictures of the astronauts in class. Velasco says after she watched the disaster unfold on TV, live in the classroom, she was confused and sad.

Robin Stambaugh Brandt remembers being at work when Challenger exploded. She says there wasn’t Internet back then, so she went out to her car to listen to the radio to find out what happened.

What do you remember from the day of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster? Head over to the KPCC Facebook page and share your memories of that day.

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