Forty-one years ago today, astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chafee perished in a capsule fire that almost derailed the Apollo program and our eventual triumph on the Moon. Twenty-three years ago tomorrow, we lost seven more astronauts in the Challenger explosion — Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, and teacher Christa McAuliffe.
As a science geek when I was younger (and before they used “geek” or “nerd” to describe us), I followed the space program religiously. Being close to the Kennedy Space Center was a bonus.
I was overseas when the Challenger tragedy occured and had to follow the news on radio.