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Challenger Tragedy: White House Memo

By Marty McDowell/NASA

The White House staff, some of which had been preparing for the televised "State of the Union" speech Reagan was to give that night, had to assist Reagan and his speechwriters in the difficult task of quickly preparing a speech expressing the country's grief and concern. In the internal memo below, which has Ronald Reagan's handwritten "FYI" to "DTR" (presumably Donald T. Regan, his chief of Staff) note, a member of the White House staff outlines what actions President Johnson took after the Apollo 1 accident.

Source: NASA.

 

Share Your Memories!

What do you remember about Space Shuttle Challenger? Have you any compelling stories to share? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"I believe that the Challenger should have never even launched. The people launching it were warned that it was too cold. In my opinion, they were very ignorant in ignoring warnings tha could have saved Christa McAuliffe, Dick Scobee, Judy Resnik, Micheal Smith, Robert McNair, Ellison Onizuka, and Gregory Jarvis' lives. Also, it was not right for the astronauts to be aware of the problems and warnings concerning them! If they had been warned they would probably not have wanted to launch. Of course this is just my opinion."

--Anonymous

"It to this day remains my belief that the deaths of Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger crew could very well have stemmed from a go ahead by Nancy Reagan's astrologer."

--Mohammed H. Chang



Space References (Books):
Dickinson, Terence. Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. Firefly Books, 1998.
Greene, Brian. Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. Vintage, 2000.
Hawking, Stephen. Illustrated Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Edition. Bantam, 1996.
Hawking, Stephen. Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe. New Millenium, 2002.
Hawking, Stephen. The Universe in a Nutshell. Bantam, 2001.
Kaku, Michio. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension.
Kranz, Gene. Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. Berkley Pub Group, 2001.
Sagan, Carl; Druyan, Ann. Comet, Revised Edition. Ballantine, 1997
Sagan, Carl. Cosmos, Reissue Edition. Ballantine, 1993
Sagan, Carl. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Ballantine, 1997

Space References (Videos):
Cosmos. PBS, 2000.
Stephen Hawking's Universe. PBS, 1997.
Hyperspace. BBC, 2002.
Life Beyond Earth PBS, 1999.
The Planets
. BBC, 1999.
Understanding The Universe. A&E, 1996.

 

White House

Courtesy of NASA


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