“Obviously a major malfunction”

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Challenger explosion. I was only 10 years old when this happened, but certainly old enough to intuit how important our space program was. Sending people into space was difficult and ambitious, yet demonstrably achievable. It was a well-spring of “can do” spirit that reinforced a pervasive tendency toward confidence and optimism in our society.

Although I couldn’t have articulated it at the time, I understood that the explosion destroyed more than the lives of the astronauts. It destroyed some of our faith in what we could accomplish.

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