Tag Archives: shuttle

Sentimental Journey


I woke up this morning and watched a video of the space shuttle Atlantis landing for the last time. The shuttle landed at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Strangely this event has a big impact on the Taker household. It means there will probably a lot less NASA channel which should translate to less disagreements about programming on the TV. Henceforth our home shall be known as Tranquility Base.

As I listened to the official NASA broadcast, there was a lot of talk about “30 years.” 1981 – 2011. That’s how long the shuttle program flew.

It was all very sentimental. That’s a feeling I can understand. I grew up with the things, too.
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The Challenger Disaster

Back row (L-R): Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik. Front row (L-R): Michael J. Smith, Francis "Dick" Scobee, Ronald McNair.

STS-51-L Mission insignia

I’m not always that bright. We were playing Trivial Pursuit and someone (not me) got the question: “How many people perished in the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster?”

As my opponent took an interminable period of time to ponder their answer, I couldn’t contain myself. “Holy shit! Come on! I can name all seven!”

Well played. I just gave my opponent the answer and another little wedgie piece for free. Dammit.

Then I did name all seven, from memory: Smith, McNair, Jarvis, Resnik, McAuliffe, Onizuka, and Scobee.

I’ve heard that most people remember exactly where they were when they heard the news about JFK being shot. That was slightly before my time. But I grew up with the NASA quest for the moon. The Mercury missions, then Gemini, then Apollo. And the Space Shuttle program.

For me, Tuesday, January 28, 1986, is my JFK moment. I remember that day vividly. Shortly after sleeping in, I found my roommates in front of the TV. We sat and watched the coverage for hours. Continue reading →