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[UPDATE] 25th Anniversary of Challenger Accident

By: Jill Chandler Email
By: Jill Chandler Email

Updated 6:36 pm by Jill Chandler

More than a hundred people gathered at the Challenger Learning Center in Downtown Tallahassee to remember those lost in the explosion, and to honor their memory.

Flags were flying, then a moment of silence, and the Tallahassee Boys Choir sang Amazing Grace.

For those who witnessed the event either in person or on TV, they want to remember the tragedy, but focus on the positive.

Susan Borland is an educator at the Challenger Learning Center. She said, "We try to turn the tragedy into triumph, and the scars into stars, and we look forward as to all the good."

In the aftermath of the explosion, the families of the crew on board founded the Challenger Learning Centers. Now there are more than 50 worldwide where children can come be inspired.

Gil Ziffer is the President of the Challenger Board of Directors. He said he wants kids to go to the center to, "Dream about how they are going to build a spaceship or a shuttle, whatever it is that will take us to Mars."

The children at the event looked and listened as they heard memories of that tragic day.

"It was pure heartache," Borland said. Eman Moustafa was a child when it happened. She said, "It was an explosion, and everybody was in shock and upset"
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Seven people were killed as the shuttle burst into flames in the sky that morning just 73 seconds after take off. The shocking blast is considered one of the first group disasters Americans were able to witness.

Sally Karioth is a Professor at Florida State who specializes in death and dying. She said, "It doesn't mean that we weren't sad, but that was kind of our introduction to national publicized grief episodes where we all saw it happen."

Events were organized all over the country today to remember those seven people killed in the explosion.

Folks from the Challenger Learning Center hope this disaster will encourage children to learn to love sciences, and help move our nation forward.
______________________________________________________Updated 1:30pm

Today marks a tragic anniversary, the day the Challenger Space Shuttle burst into flames and exploded as millions around the nation watched.

The Challenger mission was simple and some would say even routine to Nasa but very special in one way. For the first time a teacher would be flown into space. But those dreams disintegrated as millions watched.

Christa McAuliff - a social studies teacher from New Hampshire - was chosen to become the first teacher in space. Through lessons - she'd bring the nation's students along with her. The morning of January 28th students and people all around the country sat glued to their televisions as the Challenger bounded into the sky, headed for space... But 73 seconds later, tragedy struck.
First debris, then fire, then silence as everyone watching knew the Challenger would not complete its mission and the crew would not come home.
Today is the 25th anniversary of that horrific scene.
The space shuttle was brought down because cold weather had caused rubber O-ring seals in the rocket boosters to weaken and fail and 7 people lost their lives.

The Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee was created as part of a living memorial to the fallen astronauts.

At 11:39 this morning the mayor, commissioners, workers at the Challenger Center and guests held a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives that day
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) --

NASA is marking the 25th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger accident that killed seven astronauts.

Families and NASA officials gathered at an outdoor memorial at
Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Friday morning. Twenty-five years
ago, the Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff. The seven
astronauts who perished included schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

One of the speakers was the widow of Challenger's commander,
June Scobee Rodgers. She was instrumental in establishing the
Challenger Center for Space Science Education, which now has 48
learning centers.

Stay with WCTV for coverage of the 25th Anniversary of the Challenger Accident.
Rodgers said the whole world saw how the astronauts died. She
said the astronauts' families started the centers to show the world
how Challenger's crew lived and why they risked their lives.


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