Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger

  • Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger

  • Ronald Reagan

    Ladies and gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans.

    Profile Picture of Ronald Reagan in Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger
  • Today is a day for mourning and remembering.

  • Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger.

  • We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country.

  • This is truly a national loss.

  • Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground.

  • But we've never lost an astronaut in flight;

  • Ronald Reagan

    we've never had a tragedy like this.

    Profile Picture of Ronald Reagan in Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger
  • And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle;

  • but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly.

  • We mourn seven heroes:

  • Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.

  • We mourn their loss as a nation together.

  • Ronald Reagan

    For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy.

    Profile Picture of Ronald Reagan in Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger
  • But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much.

  • Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says,

  • Profile Picture of Spirit in Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger

    Spirit

    “Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy.”

  • Ronald Reagan

    They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths.

    Profile Picture of Ronald Reagan in Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger
  • They wished to serve, and they did.