The Tragic Challanger Explosion Essay

2902 words - 12 pages

This paper looks at the Space Shuttle Challanger explosion in 1986. Paper comes with works cited page and an annotated bibliography Good research but some missing cites

The Tragic Challenger Explosion

Space Travel. It is a sense of national pride for many Americans. If you ask anyone who

was alive at the time, they could probably tell you exactly where they were when they

heard that Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the Moon. But all of the success

in our space programs is overshadowed by tragedy. On January 28, 1986, one of the worst

disasters in our space program's history occurred. Many people were watching at the

moment because it was the highly televised space mission where, for the first time, a

civilian was a member of the crew that was to be shot into space. This civilian was the

winner of the "Teacher in Space" contest, Christa McAuliffe. The disaster: the explosion

of the Space Shuttle Challenger. (Compton's 1) Many people thought that disaster couldn't

strike because a civilian was on board. But as the whole nation found out, nobody is

immortal. By examining this further, we will look at the lives of the seven who died in this

dumbfounding calamity, take a look at exactly what went wrong during this fateful mission,

and the outcome from this sorrowful occurrence.

First, who exactly were those astronauts that died on the Challenger? Sharon Christa

Corrigan McAuliffe, born in 1948, was the famous winner of the teacher-in-space

program, was a high school teacher at Concord, N. H., a wife, and a mother of two

children. She touched the lives of all those she knew and taught. As a school official in

Concord said after her death, "To us, she seemed average. But she turned out to be

remarkable. She handled success so beautifully." She also wanted everyone to learn

more, including herself. Demonstrating her aspirations after entering the space program,

she is quoted saying, "What are we doing here? We're reaching for the stars." Also, after

reflecting on her position, she said in August 1995, "I touch the future, I teach (Gray 32)."

Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, born in 1948, was a tremendous enthusiast for aviation and the

space program. At 18 years old, he enlisted in the Air Force. While working as a

mechanic in the service, he put himself through night school, eventually earning a degree in

aerospace engineering that helped him become an officer and a pilot. He loved flying.

Scobee once observed, :You know, it's a real crime to be paid for a job that I have so much

fun doing." On one of his space missions, he carried a banner made for him by students at

Auburn High, his old...

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