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