Monday, January 28, 2008


It was today in history - January 28, 1986, that the Space Shuttle Challenger was lost during lift-off. I can still remember the day, where I was, what I was doing.

I grew up on the "Space Coast" of Florida. Just 30 minutes from the Kennedy Space Center. When I was growing up the school board made it a ritual that when the shuttle got past the final hold we'd have an impromptu "fire drill" so the whole school would go outside and watch. 51-L was different: the schools weren't allowed to do the fire drill routine anymore, and Challenger was the first shuttle that we didn't go outside to watch.. until someone who was outside came back in a panic because it had blown up. I personally couldn't believe it, didn't want to believe it. I went through my entire time in Jr. High without seeing the shuttle fly again, and it wasn't until my sophmore year in high school that they launched again. It was years that redefined who I was, and what I was passionate about. But at that next launch, there was a fire drill...

It's said that the Challenger mishap was a prime example of the "Abilene Paradox", interesting read on all the things that created the perfect storm of mishap.

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