Hi hi hi!
Sorry I’ve been slacking on the posts, but I’ll explain that later. However, on today’s anniversary of the “Challenger disaster”, I really wanted to make a post. I wasn’t born when it occurred, but I can tell you, from my POV how it left it’s mark.
For most people, they know Challenger for teacher Christa McAuliffe, however growing up in Hawaii, I knew Challenger for a completely different reason. I grew up knowing Challenger for Ellison Onizuka. A boy from Hawaii who flew into space. For me, I thought that by growing up in Hawaii, it would be impossible to do something so grand because we were on a small island. We were away from everyone else.
It was something amazing to me. I never thought that anybody from Hawaii would be able to do something so grand! It was inspiring. From that disaster something wonderful came about in Hawaii – to inspire young kids to be curious and passionate about space.
On the island of O’ahu there is a place dedicated to both Ellison Onizuka and the Challenger crew and igniting a passion for space. It’s called Challenger Center Hawaii. When I was in the sixth grade we spent weeks learning about space, doing different tests, trial runs, assigning roles, etc. When we finally made the trip to the center we were shocked to see how true all the equipment was! I’ll try to insert pictures so you guys can see.
In elementary school we always heard bout the Challenger field trip and how cool it was to work with the equipment and as we got older the more excited we were to finally go on the field trip. We watched a short VHS on the Challenger disaster and it left all of us speechless. We were too young to really understand how to handle the emotions that went through us, but we knew that this was more than just a field trip. During the entire “training session” we all had those 7 astronauts in our minds.
Our mission was Comet Halley, where we were supposed to land a probe on an incoming comet, Halley. We had a set of criteria that we had to meet and if we failed one, we would ultimately failed the mission. We were split up into two teams, mission control and SS Campbell, but before we entered either area, we sat in one room and on the walls were the familiar seven faces.
My group was able to successfully complete the mission and when we came out, we were back in the room with the seven familiar faces again. We heard the short story of Ellison Onizuka and we were amazed to think that a boy who grew up on a small island in the middle of nowhere would go on to achieve amazing things and inspire thousands of children from Hawaii. We went back in middle school and completed the moon mission which was also fun, but that one wasn’t as clear to me.
These 7 individuals gave up their lives to help us learn more about the unknown. No matter how old I get, Challenger will always have a special place in my heart.
**all pictures belong to http://challengercenterhawaii.com**