January 28, 1986

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.

“High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Every generation has at least one event during their formative years—childhood, young adulthood, & such—where they remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. It’s something of a cliché, really, but it’s still a moment frozen in time for each of us.

For my parents’ generation, it was the Kennedy assassination, November 22, 1963. For many, many people, myself included, it was September 11, 2001. For me, and many people around my age, it was also January 28, 1986, the day the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff. Continue reading


A Seat on a Rocket Ship



If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.

Christa McAuliffe (September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986)


27 Years Ago Today, I Remember Where I Was

On January 28, 1986, I was in 5th grade, in Mrs. Lukens’ class. We were working on math when the principal came on the PA to tell us that the space shuttle exploded.


To this day, I get emotional about the memory. I think every generation has at least one “where were you” moment. My parents’ generation had the Kennedy assassination. We had the Space Shuttle Challenger. Then we had 9/11. I hope we’re done.

Photo credit: By Kennedy Space Center [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.