Jets, Then Silence Honor Challenger
At a mournful, 10-year remembrance Sunday, the rumbling flyover of Air Force jets at the precise moment of Challenger’s last liftoff gave way to 73 seconds of pained silence.
The silence, marking the doomed flight’s duration, was punctuated only by traffic and the screams of sea gulls.
Some 400 people - ex-astronauts, shuttle managers, Kennedy Space Center workers and many tourists - were united by their memories of that day when seven crew members died.
Many of the children accompanying their parents to the Kennedy Space Center for the Astronauts Memorial Foundation ceremony had not yet been born when Challenger shattered 8.9 miles above the Atlantic Ocean 73 seconds after liftoff at 11:38 a.m. on Jan. 28, 1986.