Irrelevant musing, move along...
I remember well the day Challenger broke up. I wondered if they would ever again fly a shuttle, if the beancounters in Congress would use it as an excuse to finally kill off any meaningful space program. I also remember when Discovery took to the skies again. I had made sure to be home, and was glued to the TV screen. The countdown seemed to have a half-life, and a liftoff point that would never come. But of course, it finally did. The engines roared into flame, the gantry clamps released, and the orbiter broke free of the planet, reaching for space.
I found myself jumping up and down and screaming inarticulately. That really surprised me! I never felt like that before, even for the first shuttle flight. When Discovery lifted off, it was like a dam broke, releasing all the hopes and worry of years. Finally quit yelling and just stared wordlessly at the screen, deaf to the commentary, simply watching it climbing and climbing. We were really going back to space.
I'll never forget either day, the bad and the good. (or the loss of Columbia, but that's another story)