A Retro Report by The New York Times
I was quite young at the time, but I do vaguely remember my 1st grade teacher crying about something after we had gotten back from recess that day. I suppose some of the teachers watched the late morning broadcast live on CNN and witnessed a bit of history along with their coffee and crullers.
To be honest, I haven’t thought about it much since then. Hell, I didn’t even think much of it at the time — being six-years-old and all. But it was a huge deal, as it’s considered the biggest disaster in NASA’s history.
We have to remember that the government agency was still somewhat in its infancy at that point. These people — all that were involved, not just the astronauts — were the frontiersmen of the era. I mean, look at all the crazy things they accomplished up until the Challenger disaster. And with very few casualties or major repercussions to speak of really — considering the seemingly impossible endeavors these folks took on, of course.
People left this planet in a piece of metal, landed on a foreign planetary body, walked around, communicated back to Earth, planted a flag, returned home and lived to talk about it. It seems so trivial to some nowadays, but that feat in and of itself still blows my goddamn mind.
Anyways, I’m starting to ramble a bit. This is a short documentary put together by The New York Times that showcases the Challenger disaster with cleaned-up footage and new interviews. Clocking in at about 20 minutes, it’s a solid lunch break watch, for sure.