Challenger, 25 years later

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Today is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger accident. There are innumerable links from many sources talking about the event, too many for me to list here. You can find most at this link on Jeff Foust’s website,

Though I think it is very important for us to remember and honor these events, I have become somewhat disenchanted with the modern American obsession with memorials and anniversaries. Rather than build a memorial, I’d much rather we focused entirely on building new spaceships, new space stations, and new lunar bases, while flying multi-year missions on ISS, all in preparation for exploring and colonizing the solar system.

If we actually made the solar system a place for humans to live in and explore, we would build a far better memorial to those who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of exploration. And I think these heroes would be far more pleased by that memorial than by a stone statue or emotional op-ed that describes their courage.



  • Stu Harris

    Let us not forget that yesterday was the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire. Let us also not forget that Richard Hoagland, who was not at the Cape that day and had no special information about the event, used it in a shameless and utterly scandalous attempt to draw attention to himself and his nutty astrological theories. Hoagland went so far as to accuse the space agency of deliberately contriving the accident. Murder, in other words. Disgusting.

  • Kelly Starks

    I was working at JSC then developing a new flight planing system (for scheduling and planing events on shuttle missions) and was on the phone with someone near the main office of the mission operations directorate which is next to all the astronaut offices. mid sentence she stopped talking and said “someone said the shuttle blew up..”

    What infuriates me about Challenger was the problem and fix was known, but swept under the carpet to avoid bad press and questions from Congress. And afterward during the congressionally mandated investigation, NASA buried anything else anyone found, to the point that they started quitting the company (and maybe aerospace) in disgust.

    Its not that it would be hard to fix shuttle, it just served no political interests or public demands. That huge gap between what it could have done, and what it was constrained to – is madening. Especially now with us shutting down pretty much anything related to maned space flight.

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