Classmates of the son of America’s first teacher-astronaut, Christa McAuliffe, cheer as the space shuttle Challenger lifts skyward from Launch Pad 39B on January 28, 1986. Their delight turned to horror as the shuttle exploded 73 seconds into flight. The boy in the white hat and glasses at center is Peter Billingsley, the star of A Christmas Story and a spokesman for the young astronaut program
here is video of Peter and others in the crowd watching liftoff :(
Billingsley said after the tragedy – ‘I’ve talked to kids from all over, even some not too long after the accident. They seem more interested in the future. I don`t think it`s going to set the program back in the long run. They seem to be looking beyond it.
Kids are not going to be terribly disturbed in the long run. They might think twice, but most kids have a dream of going into space‘