TWENTY YEARS AGO. Despite weather-related delays that prompted some observers to mock the effort, Space Shuttle launches were so routine by January 1986 as to be all but ignored by the broadcast networks. The Detroit-area classical radio station I ordinarily listened to made one of its rare broadcast interruptions for a bulletin that Challenger had exploded.

William Polley offers the recollections of a somewhat younger space enthusiast.

Challenger, Columbia, and Apollo family members gathered at the Kennedy Space Center to remember.

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