I knew that I wanted to watch this. I also knew that it would be difficult for me to watch. The 1986 Challenger Disaster is the first "global disaster" that I remember having a profound effect on me (the second being the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests).
I know that we watched the launch (and explosion) in school. I don't remember much around it other than I do remember thinking about it for days, weeks, and months afterwards. Every day, I thought about the seven lost and how shocking it all was.
Challenger was my favorite shuttle. Not sure why; it could very well have just been because I liked the name. I also equated it with Sally Ride (rightly so).
I'm glad that this documentary spent a lot of time with the families and friends of the astronauts lost. I always wondered about how much this affected them and their views about space exploration, NASA, and what had happened.
I'm angry at the decisions and the decision makers, even today in 2020. Though, in a way, I can understand why they proceeded (with the launch) due to the environment and pressure they were in. It's not an excuse for loss of life but, it's easy for us (humans) to become faulty in faulty environments.
And yes, this was a difficult watch. My eyes watered throughout the entire docu-series.
Some additional thoughts while watching Challenger: The Final Flight:
- Judy Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka seemed like AMAZING people to learn more about and even hang out with.
- Sally Ride... she's a bigger hero than a lot of people give her credit for. Especially if what she did during the hearings, portrayed in this docu-series, is true.
- I appreciate that Barbara Morgan had a chance to go up into space and deliver lessons to students. And her story about Christa McAuliffe baking her a pie within 2-hours of them moving in next door to each other? Killed me.