Challenger disaster anniversary remembered

9:19 PM, Jan 28, 2014   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Today marks the twenty eighth anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Challenger exploded in mid air just seventy three seconds after takeoff- none of the seven crew members on board survived. But the memory of those astronauts is kept alive by an interactive memorial that gives kids the chance to fly their own space missions for a day.

The Challenger Learning Center in Bangor strives to inspire students to not only reach for the stars but fly to them as well. Giving them a chance to experience the legacy left behind by the crew members of Challenger.

The Challenger Learning Center allows kids to take control of their own space mission and work together to safely fly a team of astronauts to a space station above the earth.  With a mission control room, a shuttle simulator, and a space station, kids are given everything they need to work through the challenges thrown at them. Through this experience, students learn math, science and technical skills as well as strengthen their problem solving skills. Executive Director Susan Jonason hopes that the center will help the students dream big and be inspired by astronauts from their home state.

"Chris Cassidy returned from a six month space mission in September and he's from York and the kids, they've got someone they can look to who has done all these amazing things and he grew up in York, Maine, never thought he'd be an astronaut, but happened to fall into the right situations where he became one. We want our students everyday to think about that, that 'that could be me,'" Jonason says.

Jonason also calls the astronauts of Challenger heroes and that they are testaments to the human spirit and represent everything humans have accomplished. The Challenger Learning Center in Bangor has been educating students in Maine for ten years, it's just one of several centers nationwide.


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