Space Shuttle and Beyond
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Was he/she fascinated by the space shuttle voyages? What was his/her reaction to the Challenger explosion? What did he/she see in the future of space exploration? Pick this Topic for writing ideas on his/her thoughts about the space program in the 1980's.
Space shuttles were an exciting innovation in U.S. space exploration. Did the space program of the 1980's and the Challenger expedition interest him/her?
- On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all 7 crew members. How did he/she first hear of the disaster? On television? What was his/her reaction?
- Did the fact that some of the crew were civilians make the tragedy seem even more close to home? For example, Christa McAuliffe was going to be the first teacher in space. How did it affect him and those around him? What was America's reaction?
- How did this accident affect his/her opinion of the US space program? Did it make him aware that technology isn't perfect and that problems can occur? Did he/she think that this event motivated people to strive for better equipment standards?
- Did he/she know that the O ring seal was the cause of the explosion? As far back as 1977, NASA encountered problems with it, but nothing was ever resolved. How did this make him feel about the deaths and the space program?
- Did this accident affect his/her feelings toward airplanes? Was he/she more afraid to fly?
- What did he/she see in the future of U.S. space exploration? Did he/she think that civilians would ever be able to pay to take a trip to outer space?
- How could the U.S. improve the space program? Was there anything that he/she thought they should pursue in-depth? Exploration of a certain planet? Other life forms?
- In his/her opinion, did the U.S. spend too much or not enough money on space exploration? Did he/she think that the money for the space program was used for a good purpose?
- From the Apollo missions to the present, which mission has had the greatest impact on him or interested him the most? Why?
- Would he/she go into space if possible? Why or why not?