When big events happen in our life, we say that "we'll never forget" and more times than not, we let it slip from our minds over time. This is one of those events that we will remember where we were when it happened.

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It was 35 years ago, January 28th, 1986 when we witnessed the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. Schools from around the country took time out of their day to watch this special occasion. Little did they know, what would happen at 11: 39 a.m. would change their lives.

The reason so many schools were watching that morning was that teacher Christa McAuliffe was going to be the first non-astronaut sent into space. A historic event turned into a horrific catastrophe, just 73 seconds into the flight and 10 miles above the earth.

I was watching when Challenger exploded and I wasn't sure what I was watching because it didn't look right on the tv screen and no one was really saying anything. If it was a movie, the man at Mission Control would have been in hysterics.

I was confused because he sounded calm and my thought was "maybe it's not as bad as it looks." Shortly after that, the entire world learned what had happened and McAuliffe along with the 6 crew members had perished.

The Space Shuttle program was grounded for three years to change the safety measures and new policies were put into place.

A friend of mine's teacher was the alternate if Christa couldn't make the flight. She told me that it could have been her teacher that she would have been watching on that fateful day.

When I think back to what happened 35 years ago, I'll never forget the Mission Control man and how reality is so much different than the movies. What do you remember about this tragedy?

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