The smoke twisted and turned across the sky in a fluffy white cotton candy stream. I didn’t know what it was supposed to look like – should it look like this? I looked to my teacher’s eyes and I knew – something was wrong. The Challenger was broken.
But there I sat among the neat rows of 4th graders, in our Crayola-colored chairs, waiting for the explanation. Instead, we heard gasps on location in Florida. And we stared in silence at the television cart that only minutes before had been wheeled in for the momentous occasion.
For weeks we’d talked about the Challenger’s impending launch. Christa McAullife would be on board — a curly-haired, common school teacher whose smiling face we’d come to recognize. We’d read about her selection in our Weekly Reader and watched video of her training at Space Camp. And now she was . . …
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