This week marks the 28th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, and the release of “Challenger: An American Tragedy - The Inside Story from Launch Control” by Hugh Harris, who was chief of public information for NASA's Kennedy Space Center at the time. Harris delivers a gripping insider account of the events around Jan. 28, 1986, when the space shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after launch - “a moment that left an indelible mark on the nation's psyche,” book publisher Open Road Media said in a press release on Tuesday.
From his unique vantage point as "the Voice of NASA," Harris takes us from the preparations for Challenger's launch, through to lift-off (Harris delivered the iconic countdown on that day), to the terrible moment when the O-ring failed, and on to the aftermath and investigation. Harris goes beyond discussing just the technology of the accident, revealing the touching stories of the people that were involved.
Harris' book not only demonstrates the importance of the shuttle program and NASA, but also the necessity of man's exploration of space. As Harris writes of the disaster, "It was a chilling reminder that it is safer to sit on the ground than fly into space. But that's not an option for the human race."
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