By Lynn R. Mitchell
Has it really been 30 years since the Challenger shuttle exploded in mid-air? Seven lives were lost, the tragedy was caught live on TV, and Americans were shocked at the disaster that had taken place in front of their eyes.
Space launches had become so routine to most people by the time Challenger came around that it rarely caused much excitement. Indeed, on that fateful day of January 28, 1986, it was cold and wintry in rural North Carolina, just as it was cold at the site of the launch in Florida. At home with my one-year-old son, I remembered the NASA launch was taking place that morning so turned on the television to see how it was going.