Remember Challenger (STS-51L): 30 Years Today


Greetings all…

Today, marks 30 years go that we lost the Challenger crew of the STS 51L mission to an explosion of The Shuttle, 73 seconds into flight. It was, as many tragic accidents (and not just in spaceflight), a very sad day.

I remember it almost like it was yesterday. I was still in Bridgeport, CT….a fresh college graduate looking to see if I’d land my first career job in that state. While that was not the case, I took a small job while interviewing ine area. That job was working at a cable company working on cable box electronic assemblies.

That morning, we had the TV on at work, anxious to see another successful Shuttle launch. I had always had an interest in space and space exploration. While it was greater at some points in my life than others, nonetheless it still remained (like many young boys, I, too, wanted to be an astronaut at some time).

The liftoff was nominal, ascent was the same way, telemetry was downlinking with no issues as I remember, and it was a gorgeous morning. At a little over a minute in, tragedy ensued, as I watched the Shuttle explode right before my eyes. Even awhile after it happened, I still couldn’t believe what I saw, nor could I believe the sadness that over took me. I’ve never seen a space exploration accident happen before, and have never seen one since, but that day still lives within me.

When I’d heard what the cause of the mishap was, I could immediately understand it, though I no where knew about space vehicles what I currently do today. What I didn’t know, is something that learned of while listening to NPR on the way home from work today. Something that made me want to post this weblog. I have to admit that I was all over again saddened as I drove home listening to this, but in an entirely new and different way. What I listened to was the first time ever released story of Morton Thiokol engineer Bob Ebeling, who up until today, remained an anonymous source for NPR’s 1986 report on the disaster. He told NPR about he and another engineer basically begged NASA not to launch the Challenger mission that day due to temperatures being too cold to launch. He, for 30 years, carried the guilt of feeling he could have done more than just presenting the data to NASA providing they should not have launched. You can read the story and listen to Bob, who is 89 years old today, by clicking here.

I may listen to this excerpt again, but not any time soon. I can only imagine what he has carried inside of mental state for so long after this tragedy.

Another story that elaborates on report the facts of this mission and crew loss (again by NPR can be found here.


The crew of the Challenger mission are as follows:
Commander Dick Scobee; co-pilot Michael Smith; Ellison Onizuka, the first Asian-American in space; Judith Resnik; Ronald McNair, the second African-American in space; Christa McAuliffe; and Gregory Jarvis.

Today there was a special memorial held at Kennedy Space Center. where June Scobee Rogers, the wife of then CDR Dick Scobee, addressed the crowd with words of hope.

The crew is now longer with us, but you are far from being forgotten. Ad Astra.

Thanks for reading.


A Southern Road Trip


So…greetings readers. First off, Happy 2016 to you, wherever you maybe. I hope this post finds you well. It’s 10:13pm EST and I decided to get this post out before I turned in. I’m sitting in the studio sipping on some iced green tea, listening to the latest by The Jeff Lorber Fusion, Step It Up.

I took a road trip to Georgia this weekend to drop my daughter back at college. It was a quick one, as we left yesterday morning and got back this evening. I’m used to the drive now, but fortunately can split it between me and my wife.

The “OJ” (for those who are not familiar with that term, it’s slang for rental car, the term came from the old OJ Simpson commercials for Hertz Rent A Car. If you don’t know who OJ Simpson, I’m not the only one dating myself LOL) was a Ford Fusion Titanium, which may just be my next car. The ride is very smooth AND it’s entertainment systems fully recognizes my iPod and all music/playlists on in via a USB connection. MAJOR PLUS.

One thing about a roadtrip of this length is that there is plenty of time for napping, conversing, laughing, reading, being quiet, etc. Got a lot or organizing done, plus began reading a new novel I got for Christmas.

We stayed in a hotel (which I won’t name) that was pretty decent, but the oddest thing I found about it is that, while it was fully equipped for cable TV channels, I don’t think it was equipped for internet because it had one of THESE in there (I am still surprised and chuckling big time, and if you know what this is, you’re dating yourself AGAIN).


Left GA this morning at 8:15pm and with minor traffic in VA, one gas two food stops, we made it back in exactly 9.5 hours to the minute. Was a good and efficient trip, we didnt seem to eat up the entire weekend (well, even though it did, it didn’t feel like it).

The bridge above is a shot I caught if it as we left Savannah, which is on the edge of South Carolina. For a non-abstract shot of it, here it is, the Eugene Talmadge Bridge in Savannah (U.S. 17)


Thanks for the read, I’m out.