I can clearly remember that Tuesday, January 28th, 1986.
I was in 6th grade at Pineland Public School, the freshmen grade of middle-school, and the our class was interrupted with the terrible news of the Challenger disaster. I was mad about space, and the entire school, like all schools, were excited about this lift off because a civilian, a teacher, was on board.
The images of the explosion haunted me as young boy. Years later, in university, I participated in a role-playing ‘game’ that challenged us to explore the decision making processes behind the tragedy. The Challenger explosion wasn’t just a failure of the O-Ring, it was a failure of leadership and decision making.
Like no other human initiative, the space program (on both sides of the Cold War) has pushed our expectations of what is possible furthest. All of us who were little boys dreaming of going to the stars revelled in the Shuttle program, and sadly all of us at Pineland wept that day. The tragedy reminds me that despite the most amazing technology, the systems behind the tech are human – and as humans, we’re deeply falliable.
In honour of the Challenger, and the entire space program, I wrote a set of characters in MetaWars 3 that dream of the stars. They help Jonah in a time of great need, and send someone he loves to High Flight...to “touch the face of God.”
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