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 citesThe Tragic Challenger ExplosionSpace Travel. It is a sense of national pride for many Americans. If you ask anyone whowas alive at the time, they could probably tell you exactly where they were when theyheard that Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the Moon. But all of the successin our space programs is overshadowed by tragedy. On January 28, 1986, one of the worstdisasters in our space program's history occurred. Many people were watching at themoment because it was the highly televised space mission where, for the first time, acivilian was a member of the crew that was to be shot into space. This civilian was thewinner of the "Teacher in Space" contest, Christa McAuliffe. The disaster: the explosionof the Space Shuttle Challenger. (Compton's 1) Many people thought that disaster couldn'tstrike because a civilian was on board. But as the whole nation found out, nobody isimmortal. By examining this further, we will look at the lives of the seven who died in thisdumbfounding 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 ChristaCorrigan McAuliffe, born in 1948, was the famous winner of the teacher-in-spaceprogram, was a high school teacher at Concord, N. H., a wife, and a mother of twochildren. She touched the lives of all those she knew and taught. As a school official inConcord said after her death, "To us, she seemed average. But she turned out to beremarkable. She handled success so beautifully." She also wanted everyone to learnmore, 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, afterreflecting 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 thespace program. At 18 years old, he enlisted in the Air Force. While working as amechanic in the service, he put himself through night school, eventually earning a degree inaerospace 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 muchfun doing." On one of his space missions, he carried a banner made for him by students atAuburn High, his old high school. It read "TROJANS FLY HIGH WITH SCOBEE."School officials announced after the tragic explosion that the banner would be put ondisplay to remind others at Auburn High that other seemingly ordinary students can too flyhigh. (Gray 33)Judith Resnik, born 1949, had a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. She was very ambitiousand loved everything. She once said, "I want to do everything...

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