We've all seen the network video of the Space Shuttle Challenger conflagration that happened 24 years ago, but this amateur video makes it more personal. "Is that trouble or not? They're not having trouble, are they? That's trouble of some kind," said optometrist Jack Moss as he recorded this video with his new Betamax camcorder on January 28, 1986.
Moss gave the tape to an educational organization a week before his death in December, 2009.
When Challenger took to the air for the last time, I can still vividly remember staring at the television screen in disbelief, at first thinking the astronauts could somehow escape that ominous cloud of hydrogen and oxygen gas. Alas, it was not to be.
I never was a big fan of the space shuttle, even though I was impressed when I saw Challenger in 1983, launching in all its glory from the closest possible position at the Kennedy Space Center press area. But a space truck that goes around in circles is sure as hell better than no manned space program at all.