Thirty years ago, today, the loss of STS-51L (Challenger) shocked the nation. But it was not the last such loss. Years later, STS-107 (Columbia) broke up on reentry over Texas, with all hands lost. Since last summer, NASA has honored their memories with a new, permanent exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida called “Forever Remembered.” It contains many of the physical artifacts of the lost space vehicles and crews.
Dianny Russell has a wonderful tribute over at Patriot Retort, and she reminisces about where she was when she heard the news 30 years ago. I remember that I was with my wife, listening to the TV news while she was helping me type up a report on wind tunnel tests at Purdue University where I was studying to be an astronaut. Well, that didn’t happen, but that doesn’t diminish the gratitude we feel for the men and women who were lost blazing the trail into space. Godspeed, Gentlemen and Ladies. We won’t forget.