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On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all 7 crew members. How did you first hear of the disaster? On television? What was your 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 you and those around you? What was America's reaction?
How did this accident affect your opinion of the US space program? Did it make you aware that technology isn't perfect and that problems can occur? Do you think that this event motivated people to strive for better equipment standards?
Did you 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 you feel about the deaths and the space program?
Did this accident affect your feelings toward airplanes? Were you more afraid to fly?
What do you see in the future of U.S. space exploration? Did you 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 you think they should pursue in-depth? Exploration of a certain planet? Other life forms?
In your opinion, does the U.S. spend too much or not enough money on space exploration? Do you 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 you or interested you the most? Why?
Would you go into space if possible? Why or why not?