Houston Matters

Challenger Disaster Still Resonates at NASA 30 Years Later

A ceremony is taking place today (Jan. 28, 2016) at Houston’s Johnson Space Center marking 30 years since the disaster that destroyed the Challenger space shuttle on Jan. 28, 1986, killing astronauts Ellison Onizuka, Greg Jarvis, Judy Resnik, Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair and teacher Christa McAuliffe. One man who was at the Johnson Space […]

Image Courtesy: NASA Human Space Flight GalleryA ceremony is taking place today (Jan. 28, 2016) at Houston’s Johnson Space Center marking 30 years since the disaster that destroyed the Challenger space shuttle on Jan. 28, 1986, killing astronauts Ellison Onizuka, Greg Jarvis, Judy Resnik, Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair and teacher Christa McAuliffe.

One man who was at the Johnson Space Center 30 years ago is James Oberg. The retired 20-year NASA veteran and spaceflight commentator tells Michael Hagerty what that day was like and his thoughts on what led to the disaster.

Then, in the hours and days immediately following, reporters around the world and in Greater Houston would grapple with what took place that day — and sought to understand what led to it. One of them was Mark Carreau, who at the time was a general assignments reporter for the Houston Chronicle. He tells Michael Hagerty what the scene was like at the Johnson Space Center as highly trained scientists tried both to investigate the disaster and to grieve.

(Above: Challenger’s flight crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik. Image Courtesy: NASA Human Space Flight Gallery)

MORE: 
Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster (Wikipedia)
NASA Remembers Its Fallen Heroes, 30th Anniversary of Challenger Accident (NASA, Jan. 22, 2016)
Remembering the Challenger Seven (Houston Chronicle, Jan. 28, 2015)
Never-Before-Seen Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Photos Found In Granddad’s Old Boxes (Huffington Post, Jan. 17, 2014)

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