First landing of Space Shuttle Challenger: the STS-6 landing at Edwards AFB, April 9, 1983


The first Challenger crew included an astronaut who has since become a legend. His name is Story Musgrave and he's 2nd from the left.

 View of the landing site from inside Challenger.

The end of Space Shuttle Challenger's maiden voyage at Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert. We had a fantastic view as Challenger came down, practically overhead. The experience was in many ways even more impressive than seeing shuttle launches. I filmed the landing with a Super-8 movie camera. It clearly showed just how close the shuttle flew over. The enormous crowd was well-rewarded for making the trip to the desert.


 Bumper sticker sold in the large crowd at the public viewing site.

I was probably Marin County's greatest space shuttle fan in the early '80's. Note the "TOUCHDOWN" T-shirt - it was just one of my shuttle collection. Perfect for hiking out at Point Reyes? Not really!


January 28, 1986

The 10th Launch of Space Shuttle Challenger



I was up early on that January day, anticipating watching the launch on TV, as I always did. But I remember thinking, they've had probably the most delays in the shuttle program. That was a little bit disconcerting, for some reason. A few minutes later, I momentarily felt something - a strong feeling that something bad had happened to the shuttle. I had been getting ready in the bathroom so I wasn't actually watching the coverage at that moment. After all, they were fairly routine by that time. But just then my Mom called and said I better watch - the shuttle had exploded. From three thousand miles away I had felt it ..... still I could hardly believe what they were showing on CNN.

I wrote letters of condolence to two of the less-famous Challenger astronaut families. Months later, I received this thank-you letter from NASA and a card from one of the families. I, for one, will never forget the Challenger....I know from first-hand experience that it was an excellent shuttle.



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