STS-51L/Space Shuttle Discovery


I was in 2nd or 3rd period Biology class, freshman in HS.

Teacher was pretty decent, he was cool enough to understand the pile of hormones and confusion that herded their way in and out of his classroom 6 times a day.


This was a big day for a science teacher who was actually excited about being a science teacher and is genuinely passionate about space.


And there was the whole first teacher in space thing...

We had the sweet big TV on the giant 3 shelf rolling cart with the strap across the top so it didn't fall off when you hit the tiniest crack in the tile trying to move it 3 inches. With the good rabbit ears, not that dumb stock antennae.


These space launches never go on time so we were "lucky" to be in class and watching it when it finally happened. And to be honest it was rare, even back then, to make a big deal about a shuttle launch. 

It had become routine.


It was on live television in a whole bunch of classrooms across America because it was going to be "The First Teacher In Space".


It blew up.


It was weird.

Some people cried, some people made jokes the way dumbass kids do.


That's my first memory of the news just repeating any footage they had and interviewing literally anyone, just to keep it going. 

Even THAT told you it was a big deal, because there were only 3 networks. 

And we watched it over and over, every period, all day long. 


Anyone else remember watching this live?



Why do you call it Discovery in your thread title?


nasa lost two shuttles, challenger and Columbia. And enterprise was a no engine test glider. 

Discovery and Atlantis are still around today. 

I was one of the AV nerds bringing TVs to classrooms so they could watch the shuttle launch. After dropping off the last one, I was to collect them 20 mins later after the broadcast was finished. Perfect time to go fuck off somewhere. I had no idea what had happened until I went to get the first TV cart and everybody was crying.