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Old 01-29-2013, 12:47 PM   #46
DopeyDame
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In a morbid and weird way, Challenger is what eventually led me to a career as an aerospace engineer. I was always fascinated with space, and it was in learning more about challenger that I was first introduced to the whole concept of engineers and mission control.

I'm always sad when I see news clips of the shuttle, but when I see clips of misison control, it literally takes my breath away every.single.time. To hear the flight director say "lock the doors" - just gives me chills. I've worked in mission control centers (not for the shuttle), and I know the responsibility and ownership that they feel. I can't imagine loosing one of my launches, and they are just with pieces of hardware. To lose a friend and colleague who was entrusted to your care and responsibility... just unfathamable to me. (Of course, it wasn't the engineers in mission control who were alone in making the decision - but I know that every last one of them takes their responsibilities more seriously than you can imagine.)
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:50 PM   #47
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I remember turnnong on the TV and the "Breaking News" banner on. It was horrific. I'll never forger the teacher's parents faces, firts beaming with pride, changing to unbrerable horror and grief.

But I'm surprised by those accounts of having seen the event live. I thought (actually I was almost sure) that it wasn't broadcasted live on tv for the general public.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:13 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moon View Post
I remember turnnong on the TV and the "Breaking News" banner on. It was horrific. I'll never forger the teacher's parents faces, firts beaming with pride, changing to unbrerable horror and grief.

But I'm surprised by those accounts of having seen the event live. I thought (actually I was almost sure) that it wasn't broadcasted live on tv for the general public.
Yes and no: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/11031097/n...ttle-disaster/

CNN had it live, and it was broadcast live to schools. Since many of us were in school at the time, many were probably watching the live school feed. Frankly, I have no idea if we watched the live feed or the "live rebroadcast" on a network at school. It certainly seemed to me to be a live event.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:36 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DopeyDame View Post
Yes and no: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/11031097/n...ttle-disaster/

CNN had it live, and it was broadcast live to schools. Since many of us were in school at the time, many were probably watching the live school feed. Frankly, I have no idea if we watched the live feed or the "live rebroadcast" on a network at school. It certainly seemed to me to be a live event.
That's what I remember but was a bit foggy so hoping someone else would chime in. I remember it being a huge deal & that schools were able to get the live feed and it was a special deal to get the live feed, etc... so not all schools were doing it.

I just remember the entire event being the big buzz of the day with it being the first civilian and how schools were going to be able to watch history in the making (unfortunately, not exactly the way they wanted), etc... there was a lot of lead up news surrounding it.

It wasn't as if there was a TV in every room that could be switched onto cable instantly like there seems to be now. There were a lot of things had to get put into place for it to happen.

I really don't know if our school had the live feed or not. Obviously, the day was business as usual in general since we had just finished gym class and were changing to go to our next class. It could be that some of the Science classes were watching it...that I don't know. I remember seeing the news footage of it later on. Those are parts I don't remember...I just remember exactly what we were doing when we heard the news initially.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:40 PM   #50
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I was 29, working the NICU when it happened. One of our volunteers poked.her head in the door and gave us the news. we turned on our unit TV and we all just burst onto tears when we saw it fly apart. They said people in south Florida could see the contrail for hours.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:48 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
What followed after those words, is still embedded in my head like it all happened yesterday.

me too.
DD31 who was a preschooler at that time and i sat in front of our console tv to watch the lift off. I remember being shocked and in a state of disbelief.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:51 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by CandyMandy View Post
Yes, that is the element that always gets to me. Understandably, NASA and the media didn't play up the fact that the investigation concluded all the astronauts aboard were alive and conscious during their almost three minute long fall, which ended when the intact crew compartment section of Challenger hit the water at around 200mph. That exposed the astronauts to a braking force of 200 times normal gravity.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3078062/ns...rnity-descent/

"At first, many people watching the blast, and others in mission control, believed the astronauts had died instantly — a blessing in its own right.

But they were wrong.

NASA’s intensive, meticulous studies of every facet of that explosion, comparing what happened to other blowups of aircraft and spacecraft, and the knowledge of the forces of the blast and the excellent shape and construction of the crew cabin, finally led some investigators to a mind-numbing conclusion.

They were alive all the way down.
"
OMG - all these years and I never. knew. that. Brings a new tear to my eye. How unbelievably, immeasurably horrible. Those poor, poor people. 3 minutes is absolutely forever. I can't imagine.

I was a junior in HS. Found out while walking from one class to another - there were a few teachers with puffy eyes outside the cafeteria.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:20 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandyMandy View Post
Yes, that is the element that always gets to me. Understandably, NASA and the media didn't play up the fact that the investigation concluded all the astronauts aboard were alive and conscious during their almost three minute long fall, which ended when the intact crew compartment section of Challenger hit the water at around 200mph. That exposed the astronauts to a braking force of 200 times normal gravity.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3078062/ns...rnity-descent/

"At first, many people watching the blast, and others in mission control, believed the astronauts had died instantly — a blessing in its own right.

But they were wrong.

NASA’s intensive, meticulous studies of every facet of that explosion, comparing what happened to other blowups of aircraft and spacecraft, and the knowledge of the forces of the blast and the excellent shape and construction of the crew cabin, finally led some investigators to a mind-numbing conclusion.

They were alive all the way down.
"
Maybe.
Maybe not.

It is impossible to tell.

They would have lost consciousness if the crew cabin had lost pressurization, but it was too extensively damaged after impact to tell whether it did or not.

Quote:
Whether the astronauts remained conscious long after the breakup is unknown, and largely depends on whether the detached crew cabin maintained pressure integrity. If it did not, the time of useful consciousness at that altitude is just a few seconds; the PEAPs supplied only unpressurized air, and hence would not have helped the crew to retain consciousness. The cabin hit the ocean surface at roughly 207 mph (333 km/h), with an estimated deceleration at impact of well over 200 g, far beyond the structural limits of the crew compartment or crew survivability levels.[19]

On July 28, 1986, Rear Admiral Richard H. Truly, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Flight and a former astronaut, released a report from Joseph P. Kerwin, biomedical specialist from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, relating to the deaths of the astronauts in the accident. Kerwin, a veteran of the Skylab 2 mission, had been commissioned to undertake the study soon after the accident. According to the Kerwin Report:

The findings are inconclusive. The impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface was so violent that evidence of damage occurring in the seconds which followed the disintegration was masked. Our final conclusions are:
- the cause of death of the Challenger astronauts cannot be positively determined;
- the forces to which the crew were exposed during Orbiter breakup were probably not sufficient to cause death or serious injury; and
- the crew possibly, but not certainly, lost consciousness in the seconds following Orbiter breakup due to in-flight loss of crew module pressure.
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