The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois on January 29, 1986 · Page 1
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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · Page 1

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Bloomington, Illinois
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Wednesday, January 29, 1986
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n 2M 40 pages, 4 sections Wednesday, January 29, 1986 Bloomington-Normal, Illinois 25c LP IfLrD At 11:38:60 Challenger reaches the speed of sound as it (arcs over the Atlantic Ocean. , Eight seconds after lift off, Challenger roils 120 degrees to the right as passengers assume a "heads down" position. 11:38:00 a.m. After a two-hour delay, Space Shuttle Challenger launches flawlessly from Kennedy Space Center. ) V . , E - . . .. . . :::::ip: ... The horror of the Space Shuttle Challenger's explosion shortly after a flawless launch yesterday was not immediately evident to the crowd that had gathered at Florida's Kennedy Space Center to witness the historic flight, which contained as crew members the first teacher in space, the second black man, the first Jewish woman and the first Japanese-American. NASA officials had not yet pinpointed a cause for the tragedy, although footage of the aborted flight may give investigators some clues. The disaster is the worst to hit the space program in its 25-year history of manned flights. ayi mw jpjjg-jM Mm TOGSMv Partly sunny today, highs in the upper 20s or low 30s. Fair and colder tonight with lows 5 to 12 above. Mostly sunny Thursday with highs in the upper 20s or low 30s. Complete weather on B10 Abby C10 Classified D4 Comics A10 Deaths B9 Business D1 Fofius C1 On the Record B10 Opinion A8 Sports B1 Yellow page B8 Daily: 008 Pick 4: 1184 Copyright 1986 Evargrasn Communications Inc. About seventy seconds after take-oft, ten miles high . and eight miles off the the coast of Florida, Challenger explodes, taking the lives of its seven passengers. BHS finalist tells of shock, sorrow By MIKE MATULIS Pantagraph staff A series of delays in the launch of yesterday's ill-fated space shuttle mission spared Bloomington High School teacher Lynne Haef-fele from personally witnessing the tragedy that claimed the lives of seven astronauts, including the first "teacher in space," Christa McAuliffe. Mrs. Haeffele, who was one of the two Illinois finalists in last year's teacher in space competition, was at the Cape Canaveral, Fla. launch site as a guest of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. After waiting through several days of delays, she returned Monday and was teaching a class when the normal routine of another space shuttle launch was shattered by the deadly explosion. Mrs. Haeffele, a science teacher, Explosion took toll on ex-area man By DON THOMPSON Pantagraph staff Jerry Miller watched in shock and disbelief yesterday from Houston's LBJ Space Center as seven of his friends lost their lives on the Space Shuttle Challenger. They were his crew particularly the three members Miller, formerly of Fairbury had trained for a year to walk in space. "It's really not very often that someone watches a friend die, and I had to watch seven of them die a very graphic death people that I had just been joking with a couple Twenty-eight miles high, the motor casings, now depleted of fuel, separate from the shuttle and land in the ocean via parachute to be reused. learned of the disaster from students in the hall between classes. "After getting over the disbelief and seeing the sincerity in their faces, I knew that this was not something they would joke about, knowing my involvement," said Haeffele, still wearing a NASA button with the pictures of the seven space shuttle Challenger crew members. "It was just total shock and then an instant feeling of sorrow and sympathy," she said. "My heart is really with the people who are still in Florida. "For example, Christa's son was there with his grade school class. I just can't even imagine the personal impact." Mrs. Haeffele said she had met Mrs. McAuliffe in Washington, D.C., last year during a program for the 113 national semifinalists for the teacher in space program. She remembered thS 37-year-old days before," Miller said yesterday. "Airseven of them were friends of mine, in fact three of them in particular were very good friends of mine," he said. "I cried. I've been crying most of the day. It's kind of hard for me right now, as a matter of fact," he saidjast night. Miller, whose mother Nila Johnson and brother Russell, both of Fairbury, and father, Leon Miller of LeRoy, said trouble was so unexpected many at Houston watched the launch on. remote monitors. "It's gotten to be such a routine that we don't usually bother to go 1 1:44:50 Traveling at an altitude of eighty miles, fifteen times the speed of sound, Challenger would have begun a seventy-two mile dive in preparation to release the external tank. After the external tank separation. Challenger tires two 6.000 pound thrust engines to assume low elliptical orbit. rt-JJO c ;nr own - t , '. v-v v . w r A X J . -j .4 i Lynne Haeffele New Hampshire social studies teacher as "a nice lady." While Mrs. Haeffele did not meet with Mrs. McAuliffe in Florida this Please see TEACHER, next page to Mission Control unless we have ( to," Miller said. NASA workers were cheering the successful liftoff -when the, shuttle exploded. ( - "The last word back from Dick (Commander Francis R. Scobee) was that he was taking her back to full power. A second later we heard the explosion on the intercom, and then "it was gone," he said. "It was kind of a disbelief," Milter said of his and his co-work- Please see TRAINER, next page 12:23 00 p.m. Forty-five minutes alter take-off Challenger would have reached a 250-mile-high circular orbit. (u jur CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (API A catastrophic explosion blew apart the space shuttle Challenger 74 seconds after liftoff yesterday, sending schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe and six NASA astronauts to a fiery death in the sky eight miles out from Kennedy Space Center. "We mourn seven heroes," said President Reagan. The accident defied quick explanation, though a slow-motion replay seemed to show a flame or other abnormality on one of two peel-away rocket boosters followed More coverage, pages A2, A3, A4 and D1 by the detonation of the shuttle's huge external fuel tank. The tank-turned fireball destroyed Challenger high above the Atlantic while crew families and NASA officials watched in despair from the Cape. Other observers noted the boosters continued to fly crazily through the sky after the explosion, indicating the problem might have originated in the giant tank itself. "We will not speculate as to Ihe specific cause of the explosion based on that footage," said Jesse Moore, NASA's top shuttle administrator. National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials are organizing an investigating board and Moore said it will take a "careful review" of all data "before we can reach any conclusions." It was the first in-flight disaster in 56 manned space missions. John Glenn, the former astronaut, recalled that three astronauts died in a launch-pad training accident 19 years ago and said the history of pioneers is often one "of triumph and tragedy." The explosion followed an apparently flawless launch, delayed two hours as officials analyzed the danger from icicles that formed in the frosty Florida morning along the shuttle's new launch pad. "There were no signs of abnormalities on the screens" as flight controllers monitored Challenger's liftoff and ascent, a source said. The source, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, said the blast occurred "unexpectedly and with absolutely no warning." "We have a report from the flight dynamics officer that the vehicle has exploded. Flight director confirms that," said NASA's Steve Nesbitt. The cheers at McAuliffe's Concord (N.H.) High turned to sorrow. NASA said its computers showed that all communications with the shuttle broke off 74 seconds after launch, marking that as the moment of the explosion. Mission Control reported there had been no indication of any problem with the three shuttle engines, its twin solid boosters or any other system, and that the shuttle just suddenly blew apart 10 miles high and 8 miles downrange of Cape Canaveral. Ninety minutes after the accident, controllers were still at their consoles, solemnly examining flight data. Flags at Cape Canaveral were lowered to half-staff. The countdown clock that marks the progress of the mission continued for hours. Reagan, in an Oval Office address after he postponed his State of the Union message because of the tragedy, reaffirmed his commitment to the shuttle program and said, "The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted, it TK Pwgron, DEREK BBIOHAM Represents path of the ill-fated flight of Space Shuttle Challenger. Represents the predicted flight progression for Space Shuttle Challenger. Milestones Here are some highlights in space exploration: Oct. 4, 1957 The Soviet Union launches Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite of the Earth. Jan. 31, 1958 The first American satellite, Explorer I, is launched. April 12, 1961 Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space. May 5, 1961 Alan Shepard makes a suborbital flight to become the first American in space. Feb. 20, 1962 John Glenn completed three orbits in Friendship 7 to become the first American to orbit the planet. Jan. 27, 1967 Virgil Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee are killed in a fire during a ground test at Kennedy Space Center. Dec. 21, 1968 Apollo 8 makes the first flight to orbit the Moon, with astronauts Frank Borman, William A. Anders and James A. Lovell Jr. May 18, 1969 Apollo 1 1 is launched to the Moon. The lunar module Eagle touched down on July 20 and astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. became the first humans to set foot on the lunar surface. July 17, 1975 An Apollo crew docks with a Soyuz crew for the first international manned space experiments. April 12, 1981 Space Shuttle Columbia is launched for the first time, the first reusable spacecraft to go into orbit. April 9, 1983 Shuttle Challenger completes its first successful mission. Jan. 28, 1985 Challenger explodes shortly after takeoff, killing all seven crew members aboard. belongs to the brave." "We will continue our quest in space," he said. "There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and. yes. more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space." He added: "Nothing stops here." NASA delayed its announcement that there appeared to be no survivors until it had conducted search-and-rescue efforts. Even before Moore's statement, it seemed impossible anyone could survive such a cataclysmic explosion. The crew included McAuliffe and six NASA astronauts: commander Francis R. Scobee, 46, pilot Michael J. Smith, 40; Judith Resnik. 36; Ronald E. McNair, 35; Ellison S. Onizuka, 39; and Gregory B. Jarvis, 41. "I regret that I have to report that based on very preliminary searches of the ocean where the Challenger impacted this morning, these searches have not revealed any evidence that the crew of Challenger survived," Moore, NASA associate administrator, told a midafternoon news conference. Col. Juhn Shults, director of De-Please see SHUTTLE, page A5

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