I will never forget the day we lost the shuttle Challenger and her crew. In 1986 I was a space program junkie, I knew just about everything you could know about the shuttle and how it worked. As I stood with my coworkers and watched Challenger launch, then explode, I knew deep in my gut we had just lost seven wonderful people. It was a wakeup call to NASA and the rest of us that going into space was far from routine, it’s a shame we had to lose those seven astronauts to learn that. As we remember the Challenger 7 on this day, we should also take a moment to consider that those men and women would want us to continue the human drive to explore and understand the universe we are all a part of. Giving up on space exploration would be a grave injustice to the sacrifice they made that day, and to all those who gave their lives to explore and reach for the stars.

The Challenger Seven : Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair, Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, and Judy Resnik.

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