January 28,2011 is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger Explosion. All those teaching that day forever would have a new subject for their education. As Christa McAuliffe, bravely left planet earth on a quest no other teacher had experienced before, we all watched in wonder that suddenly turned to horror. Here’s my story.
As long as I can remember I have admired teachers. As a young child, and teenager, I would think through how you would teach different subjects with dreams of teaching someday, but never did my mind think a teacher could go into space.
When I heard NASA was allowing Christa McAuliffe, a school teacher, to be part of a mission aboard the Challenger, my attention was fixed on this event. This opened up new possibilities for average people to do fantastic things. Never before was it remotely realistic for an average person to dream of going into space.
What an exciting thing to get to travel into space. I thought it was wonderful how she would impact not only her students, but people, and students all over the world through her bravery.
If you were not trained all of your life to be an astronaut, one might be scared on some level to do so. She seemed so brave and not scared, just excited to do this to be an example.
The big day came, and I remember watching intently on TV, holding my breath as they took off. A huge growing excitement was present in my heart but there was a sense that everyone was not at ease. I feel the nation held their breath, and when the Challenger explosion took place all I can remember is total shock.
I kept thinking no, it’s a mistake, they did not just explode. I cried when it became more real that they had just had an accident, as I’m sure many others did too!
For days after the explosion, I watched the news for any sign that it had been a mistake. How could this happen to such a brave woman, and the crew.
I did grow up to be a teacher, and today’s lessons were all centered around the days leading up to liftoff, and the life of a special woman who made it possible to dream about doing fantastic things. It also was about living a life well spent, and the memory that will never die, thanks to every teacher’s lessons on remembering.
We will never forget Christa McAuliffe. She helped us to dare to dream. The Challenger explosion is still fresh in our minds on this 25th Anniversary. Never can we forget the bravery of a school teacher who was willing to go into space.
Biographical Data of NASA-http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/mcauliffe.html-NASA