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tv   Legacy of Christa Mc Auliffe  CSPAN  September 17, 2017 9:08am-9:21am EDT

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senator is claiming it was friend.he was his >> tonight on q&a, randall ongoingtalks about the trial of democratic senator bob menendez and other prominent political corruption cases. tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. christa mcauliffe was selected to be the first teacher in space. american history tv and set them mcauliffe sheppard center in concord to see how her life is being remembered. mr. veilleux:15 seconds. >> t minus 10. >> we were in the grand stands there and we were located directly behind christa's p arents. >> and lift off. >> after the launch, everyone was yelling and very thrilled
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that we worth seeing our colleague fly in space. the sequencing of it was such that after a proximally two minutes we are supposed to see the separation of the rocket boosters, two minutes and 10 seconds. and i knew the sequencing and after about a minute and 30 seconds, we started to see some plumes that were not correct. vast majority of the people in the grandstand there, who were not familiar with the sequences, they were cheering. no, that's not right. at that point, the announcer at the kennedy space center said, there appears to have been a major malfunction. in fact, i'll never in my life forget those words that first came over. i'm saying to people around, i said, something is wrong. at that point, he then, after a few more seconds, says it
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appears the shuttle has exploded. we're seeing pieces falling down out of the sky. president reagan: today is a day for mourning and remember. nancy and i are -- to the core of the tragedy of the shuttle challenger. this is truly a national loss. 19 years ago almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. but we have never lost an astronaut in flight. we have never had a tragedy like this. and perhaps we have forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. the challenger 7 were aware of the dangers and overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. we mourn 7 heroes. michael smith, vix cobey, judith resnick. ronald mcnair, allison -- gregory jarvis and christa mcauliffe. we mourn their loss as a nation
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together. >> christa enjoyed teaching very much like i think most of us who teacher ind in the space program. we were all enthusiastic about educating our students and developingi in them a real thirst for knowledge. christa was originally from framingham, massachusetts, and she was a social studies teacher who had conga high school -- school forigh several years before the teacher in space program got announced. in the opportunity to fly space and do something unique in education and to teach students all over the world, the excitement of space exploration appeal to her as it did to me, as a science teacher. the opportunity of fly in space.
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president reagan: today i am toecting nasa choose as the first citizen passenger in the history of our space program one of america's finest, a teacher. space programn was first announced by president reagan back in 1983, where they were going to have a citizen passenger fly aboard the space shuttle and teach somree very exciting science lessons in space. they were almost a half million teachers across the country who asked for the application. so, i'm thinking you sign your name on the former you are in the running, but it actually was a whole packet of essays that we had to write to apply for the program.n space once you got that application packet, a lot of the teachers realized that this was more involved than what they wanted to do. that itself was a weeding out
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process. ultimately, from the half a million teachers who asked for the packet, there were 11,000 of us who filled out at that application. from the 11,000, ultimately from within each state, the state cheif school officers has selected a number of the applicants from the states to then bring in and have interviews. there were originally 114 candidates brought to washington, and during that week we were in washington, in addition to meeting all the other candidates and all these people who were interviewing us and the nasa officials on the astronauts, we also got to meet one another and we became a very close group of friends. originally from the 112 of us in washington they selected 10 finalists. those finalists were brought down to houston, texas, for two weeks of intense physical evaluation and testing.
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they measured everything front -- you can imagine and then they actually took them up and the vomit comet. where they went up and threw down these parabolic dives to experience weightlessness. from those final 10 in washington, christa along with bob morgan, was selected as the two candidates represent teachers. >> and the winner, the teacher that will be going into space, christa mcauliffe. she plans to keep a journal for experiences in space. here's the quote " just as the pioneer travelers of the wagon days kept personal journals, i as a safe traveler would do the same." good luck. god bless all of you. thank you very much for coming. you, too, get one of these. [app;llause] not often that a
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teacher is at a loss for words. my students were not think so. i have made nine wonderful friends over the last two weeks. when that shuttle goes, there may be one body -- but there's going to be 10 souls i'm taking with me. thank you. >> i think they were looking for people that were good speakers, had good charisma and that was one of that the things i think sold everyone on christa. then brought to live in houston, texas, for six months where they went through very intensive training and evaluation down there. testing. christa was the primary candidate. bob if anything happened to christa and could not perform, then barber was going to fly. was going to do a field trip of what the space shuttle was all about. and in addition to that, she was going to do some science lessons
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from aboard, live lessons from aboard the space shuttle. >> here come the flight crew now. >> the day of the launch, those of us who were there were surprised the actually werey going to launch the shuttle on the day because of the very cold temperature. weather, thatrida you like to think of. it was down in the 20's. that temperature certainly any thought my mind that they were going to launch the shuttle that day. they did. after the launch, everyone was cheering and yelling, and very thrilled that we were seeing our colleague fly in space. the sequencing of it was such that after approximately two minutes we are supposed to see the separation of the rocket boosters, two minutes and 10 seconds. i knew the sequencing and here after about a minute and 30 seconds we started to see some
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plumes that were not correct. and when the vast majority of the people in the grandstand, who were not familiar with the sequencing, they were cheering when they saw this. i said, that is not right. something is wrong. at that point, the announcer at the kennedy space center over the intercom said, there appears to have been a major malfunction. and at that point, he then, after a few more seconds, says it appears the shuttle has exploded. we're seeing pieces falling down out of the sky. it immediately hit those of us who are knowledgeable on the program that those pieces, this is going a few thousand miles an hour at the time it exploded. they are falling down from several miles high in the sky, that the survivability of that was very, very unlikely.
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the whole country was devastated. the whole world felt the impact of this tragedy. i mean, the tragedy of it. the state of new hampshire here, two days later we were back home. and we had a big memorial service in front of the statehouse in concord here. you could hear a pin drop over the whole place as the governor got out and spoke, a few other dignitaries and state officials. i got out and spoke for a few minutes. and it was quite, quite moving to say the least. concord, i think, originally a lot ofulled back, as people did throughout the country. the fear of something tragic happening kind of was instilled in a great part in concord here.
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and the idea that came about of establishing the mcauliffe planetarium here as a tribute to christa was a very exciting thing to see. built originally in 1990, the state established this area we are in now. as a christa mcauliffe planetarium where students and groups from all over the state of new hampshire and other states came in to see planetarium shows on a little bit of the trivia we had around here to christa -- the tribute. in 2009, we added on a huge addition to make this the mcauliffe-sheppard science center, honoring alan shepard the first american in space. and it helped the people of concord heal and realize that forsta was a role model
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people all over the country, all over the world. our cities tour staff recently traveled to concord, new hampshire to learn about its rich history. learn more about concord and other stops on our tour at tour. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. >> next, author james rada talks about his book "the last to fall" which chronicles the march of marines to reenact the civil war battle of gettysburg. more than 100,000 spectators attended the event including president warren harding. the lead up to the reenactment was marred by the death of two aviators in a plane crash.


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