Videos: Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Reagan's address 28 years later
Not every anniversary on Stuck in the '80s is a happy one. It was 28 years ago today that the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight, killing its seven crew members. Everyone in '80s nation remembers where they were when they heard the news. I was a freshman at the University of Florida, walking home from class and could see the explosion clouds from Gainesville.
Among the crew was Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space program. That same day, President Ronald Reagan was set to deliver his annual State of the Union address. It was later postponed a week so he could address the nation from the Oval Office.
Horribly, it was later determined that at least some of the crew survived the initial explosion and were likely alive and even conscious as the wreckage fell to the ocean.
"The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives," Reagan said in his address. "We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.' "