Twenty years ago today the Challenger was destroyed shortly after lift off. I remember it vividly; I was just pulling into the parking lot at Los Angeles Baptist College, where I expected to teach my morning class on the Minor Prophets. I was listening to coverage of the launch on KNX, the local all-news station here in Southern California.

It was a devastating feeling. I told my class, then I went through the motions of the lecture; afterward, I went to the student lounge and watched coverage of the disaster on the TV there; quite a number of students and other faculty were there.

That evening, I tried to console myself by watching some science fiction movies; the one I remember was the movie 2010: Odyssey Two. Not the greatest movie, but I found comfort in the thought that our quest for space would surely continue.

Thankfully it has, even after the loss of a second shuttle, Columbia, in 2003.

Here in the Antelope Valley, they renamed 10th Street East Challenger Way. Last year they renamed Avenue M Columbia Way. Given that all the orbiters were built here, that seems appropriate.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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