Today is the 30th anniversary of the Challenger shuttle explosion, which was a sad and painful moment for Americans, for space fans, and for Christa McAuliffe’s home town of Concord.
The Concord Monitor has a package of stories about that day and what has happened since. It includes my story on the disaster’s effect on American spaceflight (you can read it here).
Among those were were indirectly affected was UNH professor Charles Smith, who lost his research funding and thus his UNH job in NASA’s pullback after the disaster (he came back later). Smith also thinks the disaster fostered a culture of hyper-risk-aversion that hurt manned spaceflight in many ways.
One of the most surprising effects of the Challenger explosion was the elevation of Richard Feynman from respected scientist well known in the field to international celebrity, due to his brilliant demonstration of how an engineer/scientist thinks during the Rogers Commission hearings on TV. YouTube, of course, has a clip; it starts at about 2:40 in this clip.