Thursday, April 19, 2012
So Long Discovery!
It's kind of weird that NASA's Shuttle program is now over. I grew up in Florida, right on the Space Coast and did not miss one single shuttle launch and it makes me sad to think that such a HUGE part of my childhood is over. I know that I took the program for granted, its very easy to when you see something happen so many times that it sometimes was more of an annoyance (traffic, people, pets getting scared with the sonic booms) but I do feel very fortunate to have seen the launches.
My grandparents live right across the river so I had one of the best views available and even saw a few launches from the Space Center property when I worked there. It was absolutely incredible to feel something so powerful and know the danger the astronauts were on their way to space. Space, as in the moon and planets and stars, the space station--thats nuts that they launched from Central FL and were up there in space and not even actually on a planet! Its hard to wrap your head around that!
I remember seeing the Challenger, I was in first grade and I remember knowing something was wrong. I remember getting in trouble for running down the hall from our lunch room, but nothing would prevent me from missing a launch. Certainly not a teacher's warning to slow down ;) I remember it was cold outside (for FL) and another teacher brought a blanket outside to throw over her shoulders instead of a jacket. Once the shuttle launched I overheard her say "oh I guess they must have sent two up at once and now they've separated". Even in that split second I knew she was wrong. Not even just logically, two at once, wouldn't we have heard about this plan? But I also had a feeling something was different and not in a good way. Our tiny town basically shut down after that tragedy. The majority of our mothers and fathers worked in some capacity at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and when they had layoffs, it meant bad news for those depending on those jobs--like our whole town.
Where were YOU when these tragedies happened? What do you remember about the early Shuttle launches