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'On that cold January morning, all of the Challenger families were together in Florida to watch the launch,' commander Scobee's widow, June Scobee-Rodgers, remembered in a video posted by the Challenger Center Monday.'Our fellow Americans, including thousands of students, watched on televisions around the country.' In an interview with CBS, Scobee-Rodgers described her feelings that morning.'You can imagine, we were on top of the world,' she said, speaking of herself and her husband. 'We married as teenagers, he wanted to be a pilot, I wanted to be an educator, we worked together, helping each other with college, careers, two wonderful children. It was the top of our careers, the top of our lives, I mean, he is now the commander of the space shuttle!' Scobee-Rodgers told CBS.'But to our shock, our numbing disbelief, the unthinkable happened,' Scobee-Rodgers said in the Challenger Center video.  Dramatic images of the spacecraft's disintegration show huge plumes of smoke in the air over the Kennedy Space Center The explosion occurred only 73 seconds after the space shuttle Challenger took off from the ground Frederick Gregory (foreground) and Richard O Covey, spacecraft communicators at Mission Control in Houston watch helplessly as the Challenger shuttle explodes on take-off, killing all seven members of its crew The crew of the Challenger, circa 1985: (back row, left to right) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, (front row, left to right) Michael Smith, Dick Scobee and Ronald McNair.A little over a minute after take-off, witnesses on the ground, including Scobee-Rodgers and the families of the other crew members on board, saw the spacecraft disappear in a fireball that left a thick trail of gray smoke.Scobee-Rodgers told CBS she saw the solid rocket boosters come 'screaming off in the wrong direction, and explosions. I don't have to be told it's a "major malfunction", I'd seen enough launches, I knew.' 'It was a scary, terribly numbing. I couldn't even walk down the stairs. I fell, my son reached over and helped me, I was so numb and stiff, paralyzing, from viewing that.' The deadly crash was later found to have been caused by a faulty rubber seal that had hardened in the cold weather and failed to block an outburst of burning gas from the rocket boosters that were used to propel the shuttle into space. An investigation into the crash indicated that some of the crew members survived the explosion and that they were likely killed either during the descent or as the crew cabin hit the ocean.In a report from the investigation into the disaster, an official wrote that the crew cabin landed in the ocean at a speed of 207mph, two minutes and 45 seconds after the Challenger broke apart.In that time, the official wrote, at least three of the crew members activated their emergency air supplies, indicating that they were alive as they descended.  Left, Dick Scobee, the commander of the Challenger. Right, Christa McAuliffe, a school teacher and crew member'The forces on the Orbiter at breakup were probably too low to cause death or serious injury to the crew,' the report states, adding that the crew 'possibly, but not certainly, lost consciousness' after the explosion. The post-crash investigation also revealed that officials had been warned in advance that the rubber seal that caused the accident was not functioning properly, but that they decided to push forward with the launch anyway. Upon learning the results of the investigation, Scobee-Rodgers was outraged. 'I think everyone was angry - surprised, shocked and angry,' Scobee-Rodgers told CBS.'I remember they had all the families together in Washington, D.C., my son was with me, a cadet at the Air Force Academy, and he pounded the desk, hard, when they announced that. We were very upset.' June Scobee-Rodgers, widow of Dick Scobee, commander of space shuttle Challenger at a memorial service at the Kennedy Space Center, January 28, 2011In the three decades that passed, Scobee-Rodgers went on to remarry and started the Challenger Center along with other surviving crew family members. The center is dedicated to 'carry on the spirit' of the space project by 'continuing the Challenger crew's educational mission,' according to its website.In the end, Scobee-Rodgers said, she learned to forgive those responsible for the tragedy.'You can't go through life without forgiving. You just can't go on without forgiving. We're all human, we all have human flaws. But NASA learned so much, people learned so much from that, now there are textbook lessons about accidents like Challenger and the human flaw of expectations.' June Scobee-Rodgers and late husband Dick in an undated photograph. Dick died when the spacecraft he was commanding disintegrated shortly after take-off June Scobee-Rodgers and Dick Scobee are pictured cutting cake on their wedding day Dick Scobee pictured with his surviving children Richard Scobee and Kathie Scobee-Fulgham . U.S. astronaut Gene Cernan, who as the commander of the final Apollo lunar landing mission in 1972 became known as the "last man on the moon," died on Monday (Jan. 16). He was 82. NASA confirmed . Every time a Clinton runs for office or is in office, the number of people showing up dead in unusual (and sometimes creative) ways (in that Vincent Price-Abominable-Dr.-Phibes-sort-of-"creative"-way) seems to notch up: think Vince Foster.
Thirty years after watching her husband die in a fiery crash, the widow of the Space Shuttle Challenger's commander says she has learned to forgive the human errors that led to the tragedy.. Every time a Clinton runs for office or is in office, the number of people showing up dead in unusual (and sometimes creative) ways (in that Vincent Price-Abominable-Dr.-Phibes-sort-of-“creative”-way) seems to notch up: think Vince Foster here, or more recently, Seth. Stumbled over that piece, while browsing your collection Great sculpt, little bit of cleanup, detail is just amazing! Proud Belial in my army. PHOENIX-- Paul Weitz, a retired NASA astronaut who commanded the first flight of the space shuttle Challenger and also piloted the Skylab in the early 1970s has died. He was 85. Weitz died at his . But NASA’s out-of-sight-out-of-mind policy on death may not be the norm. Commander Hadfield tells Popular Science that all international partners who train for missions to the ISS (including . In July 1996, he went to space in Soyuz 1 space shuttle which however, became the cause of his death. During its return journey back to earth, the main parachute did not deploy properly resulting in the crash-landing of the shuttle, thereby killing Vladimir. After his death, he was awarded with the ‘Order of Lenin’ and ‘Order of Hero of Soviet Union Honors..
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