On January 28, 1986, the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after takeoff, killing everyone aboard. The country was shocked, as it watched the scene play itself out endlessly on television. The news most focused on Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher and the first private citizen to fly on a space shuttle. It was a national tragedy.
Very shortly after the accident, my roommate went to the campus store, and bought a giant poster of a space shuttle. With an exacto knife, he cut the shuttle out. We hung the poster with its gaping hole on our door. As for the space shuttle, we ripped it into little pieces, taping some onto the walls, and most onto the ceiling. A few of the pieces we made into a mobile that hung from the light fixture centered in the room.