History Shows Us…(StoryADay Post)

Space Shuttle Challenger's smoke plume after t...
Space Shuttle Challenger’s smoke plume after the in-flight breakup that killed all seven crew members. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

January 28, 1986

It would be a day that I would always remember, because that was the day that the space shuttle Challenger blew up.

I was in school that day, feeling like I could care less what was going on in Florida; I had too much on my mind. I was 14 years old, living with my aunt since my parents weren’t allowed to raise me for some odd reason (I don’t call having Aspergers odd). My aunt recently got a job in Miami, so we moved to Florida from the city of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

But let’s go back to that day.

On that day that the Challenger blew up, I was sitting in the back of the class, not even being remotely interested in the presentation on TV. My teachers and fellow classmates were glued to the TV. I myself stared at the TV, wondering what was the big deal with the spaceship launch. Didn’t people have better things to worry about, such as poverty, child abuse, and homelessness?

But then, something happened to make me pay attention, if only for a second.

I, along with my entire class, watched as the space shuttle took off from the JFK Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Less than a minute into the flight, the space shuttle suddenly broke apart and fell back to the earth in pieces.

Now, if that didn’t shock you, then I don’t know what will.

The fact that the space shuttle blew up during the launch was something that, to me, felt a bit too surreal. I mean, how could something like this just…happen? Space shuttles don’t just blow up right after liftoff, that’s insane!

And then again, it was way too real.

I could only watch as people around me broke down in tears. The seven astronauts had disappeared without a trace during the explosion. One of those astronauts was a teacher at some local high school. It was upsetting to know that that teacher wasn’t going to be coming back to her school. None of the astronauts would be coming back to their families.

Just as I was never going back home to my parents.

As far as I know, January 28, 1986 was a sad day for the nation. But what they don’t know wasn’t just how or why the space shuttle had blown up. Things like that happen for reasons the human mind is unable to understand.

Space Challenger (a parody of Space Oddity by David Bowie) (FAWM song)

Ronald McNair, NASA Astronaut, died in Challen...
Ronald McNair, NASA Astronaut, died in Challenger mission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(music begins)

Ground control to Ron McNair
Ground control to Ron McNair
Get your space helmet, they’re all waiting for you

Ground control to Ron McNair
It’s time to get on board the ship
All systems go, and may God go with you

(spaceship lifts off)

This is ground control to Ron McNair, you’re sitting on top of the world
And the papers want to know what it’s like up there
Could you please describe it to us if you can

This is Ron McNair to ground control, I’m looking out the window
And I’m floating in a very peculiar way
And the sky seems very different today

Yes, I am sitting in a tin can high above the world
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing much that I can do…

(musical interlude)

I’m now one hundred thousand miles in the air, yet I’m feeling very calm, because I know the spaceship knows which way to go. Tell my wife I love her very much…

She knows

Ground control to Ron McNair, you’ve been cut off, something’s gone wrong, can you hear me Ron McNair, can you hear me Ron McNair, can you hear me Ron McNair, can you

Here I’m still sitting in a tin can high above the world
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing much that I can do

(musical interlude)

(video of Challenger crash is seen in the background as the video fades)