Friday, February 1, 2013

Hail Columbia

It feels like we have more "do you remember what you were doing" moments than we once did.  Perhaps its the ubiquity of cameras, or simply better communications systems, but the emotional impact of news events that once would have been forgotten quickly tend to stick around.  Today marks the 10th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia, and its memory is still fresh.

It is widely believed that the fate of the 7 crew members was sealed within seconds of liftoff, when a piece of foam rubber insulation tore off a fuel tank and struck the left wing panel opening a small hole.  Upon reentry  hot gasses seeped into the hole, ultimately expanding and tearing the shuttle apart.

NASA rescue teams recovered some 84,000 pieces of the shuttle which blew apart over Texas.  The pieces are preserved at the Columbia Preservation and Research Office at the Kennedy Space Complex, which is reserved for scientific researchers.

The usual boy reaction, whenever watching replays of Columbia's final minutes, or any tragedy is WOW, and is probably derived from video gaming.  It's not until you consciously remind yourself that you're watching 7 people die that the impact hits home.

Rest in Peace Explorers.


Anonymous said...

You and your readers are a buncha years younger than I am so most likely you'd not remember, as I do, the space shuttle Challenger disater, January 1986. We're coming up on the 30 year commemoration of that particular space horror, right on top of today's Columbia disaster anniversary.



Toad said...

I was working for a cable tv company when Challenger exploded. I vividly recall our entire office huddled around the monitors watching network feeds.

Anonymous said...

I was in my car on I-95, driving to Jacksonville for my sculpture class, heard it on the radio, oh no I'll never forget.


Old Polo said...

art class at southwest texas state working on an interior design degree. the company who employees my wife was tasked by nasa to reconstructthe columbia tragedy. amazing findings!

Windy Wilson said...

I think that boy reaction of "Wow!" may be part defensive, a sort of resistance to letting the other boys know you're affected by what happened.