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Where Were You When the Challenger Exploded?

The space shuttle disaster happened 28 years ago Tuesday.

Tuesday marks 28 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after liftoff. The 1986 tragedy, which killed all seven crew members, hit especially hard since children across the country had gathered around TV sets to watch New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe go into space with NASA’s Teacher in Space project.

People across the Twin Cities remembered the disaster by recalling where they were when it happened. Where were you when it happened? Share your memories in the comments section below.


C Winslow January 29, 2014 at 08:51 AM
I was in the IDS Center, working a temp job typing loan documents (those were the pre-computer days) and was on break. I never went back to work that day while we all watched the coverage. So terribly sad . . .
Karl Burkum January 29, 2014 at 10:29 AM
Waiting in the lunch line in high school about to get my "pizza"....
Sharon Cizek January 29, 2014 at 11:12 AM
A friend of mine worked with one of the people on board the Challenger. I was a labor and delivery nurse at Methodist hospital in St. Louis Park. I was with a patient in early labor. She had the tv on in her room and we all watched it explode together. It was so hard to be upbeat and happy for my patients delivering that day. The baby born that day is now 28. I wonder where she is and what she is doing today.
Joyce January 29, 2014 at 09:21 PM
I was lying down, nursing my youngest with the television on so I could see the lift off; I had watched just about every one of our space shots since Alan Shepard had his brief flight when I was in the fifth grade and everyone in my class crowded around a tiny black and white television set in the classroom. I tried so hard not to cry so I wouldn't upset my baby daughter!
suzanne mcwilliams January 31, 2014 at 08:15 AM
i was on the viewing island with a handful of others who braved the cold and expected the launch to be cancelled again. the sound system that had boomed out the countdown and delays went silent as the challenger broke apart. an eerie silence followed, no one spoke a word as we got on to the shuttle to return to the space center. it was a strangely beautiful disaster, pieces falling to earth like fireworks. we couldnt process or believe what we were watching having grown up on flawless launches. RIP explorers.

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