Crew of seven changes future for better

Crew of seven changes future for better

By Rofkens Petit-Homme
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Family, friends, and members of the aeronautics community joined together to celebrate the lives of seven incredible explorers: Gregory B. Jarvis, S. Christa McAuliffe, Ronald E. McNair, Ellison S. Onizuka, Francis ‘Dick’ Scobee, Michael J. Smith, and Judith A. Resnik.

These seven astronauts were the flight crew of the Challenger STS 51-L. Tragically, while the shuttle lifted off the platform on Jan. 28, 1985, from Cape Canaveral Florida, the shuttle malfunctioned and took the lives of all seven passengers with it.
The nation watched in amazement as the Challenger reached for the skies only to be stopped midway and turned into a memorial. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF), founded in 1986, began progression to remember and dedicate the lives of all astronauts who sacrifice their lives for the nation and the space program.
Dr. Stephen Feldman, President and CEO of the AMF welcomed loved ones to the 25th anniversary ceremony, with the mood sober and reminiscent.

The wife of Commander Scobee, Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, offered a silver-lining to the people, “We are a nation of innovators, problem solvers, and risk takers.”

One of the most captivating stories on the Challenger STS 51-L was an exceptional definition to Dr. Scobee Rodgers quote, the first teacher in space, S. Christa McAuliffe.

Talking to individuals from all across the country, Mary Salverson from White Water, Wisconsin, said, “I was teaching at the time that this happened. I hope that this helps many people support space education in the future.”
Rick Soria is space educator, and assistant principal of Choctawahatchee High School. He and a few others are focused on the future of space education.

Engineers For America Program is an innovative elementary school initiative that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, a basic education through hands-on flight, aviation and aerospace activities.
As the recipient of the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award he had this to say, “Teaching these kids cannot wait until tomorrow; it was supposed to be done yesterday.”

With a wreath reading “In memory of Challenger” placed in front of the Space Mirror Memorial established in 1991, family, friends, and members of the aeronautics community placed roses in front of the memorial.
One image stood out among the rest, children learning about the sacrifices made for them, so they can embrace the spirit of exploration, technology, and innovation.

Ronald Reagan said it best, “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted, it belongs to the brave.”