Mark Alexander / January 28, 2016

Silver Linings — Challenger STS-51-L

On this day in 1986, the Challenger perished, but the wife of Command Pilot Dick Scobee has turned that tragedy into inspiration for the future.

This day, 28 January of 1986, was tragic for my friend June Scobee Rodgers and her family. On that sunny Florida morning, June, and the families of the other Challenger Space Shuttle crew members – Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Michael J. Smith and Ronald McNair, watched in disbelief as the spacecraft disintegrated after launch. I can’t imagine the anguish they experienced.

At T+68, June’s husband, Commander Dick Scobee confirmed, “Roger, go at throttle up” — the last communication she, and the nation, heard from Challenger. That evening, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation, saying, “The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’”

In the years that followed, June has turned that tragedy into a triumph, honoring the loss of her beloved husband and his crew with the establishment of the Challenger Centers for Space Science Education. There are now 40 Challenger STEM learning centers across the nation inspiring countless young people toward careers in the sciences. I know few people who embody June’s level of character and unbridled optimism. You can read her story in a tribute I wrote in 2009, “A Silver Lining to Storms of Sorrow.” Watch an interview with June filmed this week about her experience that day.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.