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Ad astra per aspera

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Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:27 pm

At 18:30 Eastern time on January 27th, 1967, the Apollo 1 capsule caught fire during a test, causing the deaths of Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Command Pilot; Edward H. White II, Senior Pilot; and Roger B. Chaffee, Pilot.

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At 11:38 Eastern time on January 28th, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger was lost when the O-ring seal on the right solid rocket booster failed, resulting in the deaths of Francis "Dick" Scobee, Commander; Michael J. Smith, Pilot; Judith Resnik, Mission Specialist; Ellison Onizuka, Mission Specialist; Ronald McNair, Mission Specialist; Gregory Jarvis, Payload Specialist; Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Spaceflight Participant

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At 09:00 Eastern time on February 1st, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed due to a breach in the thermal protection system of the left wing caused by a piece of foam during launch, leading to the loss of Rick D. Husband, Commander; William C. McCool, Pilot; Michael P. Anderson, Payload Commander; Michael P. Anderson, Payload Specialist; Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist; David M. Brown, Mission Specialist; and Laurel Clark, Mission Specialist. A time-lapse of the weather radar which detected the Columbia reentry trail can be seen here.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Sandpuppy » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:03 pm

I wonder if Late Jan./Early Feb. will become NASA's version of the 13th floor.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by hentzau » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:36 pm

I'm going to be on the causeway watching the launch on the 12th. Keeping my fingers crossed that it all comes off on time! Been wanting to see a launch for years, now this may be my chance!
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:04 pm

I'm jealous. I got to see an engine test when I was at Space Camp in Huntsville. As impressive as that is, I'm sure that it's nothing compared to a launch.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Kraken » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:11 pm

I came within 12 seconds of seeing one. That's where they froze the countdown.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:34 pm

You might want to keep an eye out on the status of the valve swap.
NASA is gearing up for a valve swap deemed critical to plans to launch Discovery Feb. 12 on a mission to deliver a final set of American solar wings to the International Space Station.
...
Standard launch preparations are continuing without major problems, but NASA contractor technicians still must install three refurbished flow control valves that arrived at KSC this morning. NASA program managers ordered the change-out after gaseous hydrogen flow control valves failed to work properly during the launch last November of shuttle Endeavour.

Similar to pop-up lawn sprinklers, the poppet valves are critical to keeping pressure within the external tank's liquid hydrogen reservoir at proper levels as the shuttle is thundering toward orbit and propellant in the tank is fed into the orbiter's three main engines. One of the three GH2 flow control valves on Endeavour failed to operate as intended during ascent, but the other two compensated and the spaceship zoomed into orbit. NASA nonetheless wants to make certain that Discovery is equipped with three good GH2 flow control valves. The valve swap must be completed and the new poppets must pass subsequent testing for NASA to remain on track for the planned Feb. 12 launch.
...
Senior NASA managers, meanwhile, will meet at KSC next Tuesday for an executive-level flight readiness review. Assuming the valve swap-out and other prelaunch work goes as planned, NASA is expected to firm up the Feb. 12 launch date at the conclusion of that meeting.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by hentzau » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:31 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:You might want to keep an eye out on the status of the valve swap.
NASA is gearing up for a valve swap deemed critical to plans to launch Discovery Feb. 12 on a mission to deliver a final set of American solar wings to the International Space Station.
...
Standard launch preparations are continuing without major problems, but NASA contractor technicians still must install three refurbished flow control valves that arrived at KSC this morning. NASA program managers ordered the change-out after gaseous hydrogen flow control valves failed to work properly during the launch last November of shuttle Endeavour.

Similar to pop-up lawn sprinklers, the poppet valves are critical to keeping pressure within the external tank's liquid hydrogen reservoir at proper levels as the shuttle is thundering toward orbit and propellant in the tank is fed into the orbiter's three main engines. One of the three GH2 flow control valves on Endeavour failed to operate as intended during ascent, but the other two compensated and the spaceship zoomed into orbit. NASA nonetheless wants to make certain that Discovery is equipped with three good GH2 flow control valves. The valve swap must be completed and the new poppets must pass subsequent testing for NASA to remain on track for the planned Feb. 12 launch.
...
Senior NASA managers, meanwhile, will meet at KSC next Tuesday for an executive-level flight readiness review. Assuming the valve swap-out and other prelaunch work goes as planned, NASA is expected to firm up the Feb. 12 launch date at the conclusion of that meeting.
Crap...
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Kraken » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:40 pm

Yeah, just man up and launch the damned thing. What could possibly go wrong?

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by hentzau » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:34 am

Launch date was pushed back a week, and the launch time was pushed back to 4:41 AM. Yawn!

Reservations are changed. We'll see if I have to change them again.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:48 am

Launch date was pushed back at least a week.
NASA wrote:During a review of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight, NASA managers decided Tuesday to plan a launch no earlier than Feb. 19.
...
The Space Shuttle Program will convene a meeting on Feb. 10 to assess the analysis. On Feb. 12, NASA managers and contractors will continue the flight readiness review, which began Tuesday, to address the flow control valve issue and to select an official launch date.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by hentzau » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:56 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Launch date was pushed back at least a week.
NASA wrote:During a review of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight, NASA managers decided Tuesday to plan a launch no earlier than Feb. 19.
...
The Space Shuttle Program will convene a meeting on Feb. 10 to assess the analysis. On Feb. 12, NASA managers and contractors will continue the flight readiness review, which began Tuesday, to address the flow control valve issue and to select an official launch date.
Yeah, I know once this thing starts sliding, who knows when it will stop? But it doesn't cost me anything to change my reservations, so I will keep watching and waiting.

I will see this. Oh yes, I will...
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Arcanis » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:03 pm

wow i never realized all these accidents were in such a close time period, calender wise that is.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:06 pm

What's bad is that I'm reading the Columbia accident report and the crew had a moment of rememberence for the crews of Apollo 1 and Challenger while they were in orbit. Everything else notwithstanding, that really got to me when I was reading through the mission report timeline.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Scuzz » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:46 pm

THere are events that will always stick in your mind...JFK assasination, MLK and RFK assasinations, Wallace shooting, 9-11, and the shutlle disasters. Especially the Challenger.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Mr Bubbles » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:11 pm

I was too young for the Apollo missions, but the Challenger disaster is just as fresh in my memory and as vivid as the Kirk Gibson home run in the 88 World Series. The smells, sights and emotions I felt when I heard the news was forever ingrained into my memory. A somber day indeed.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by hentzau » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:40 pm

Well, I've changed my flight 3 times now, and tonight they just announced another delay, without setting another date until next Wednesday. My drop dead date for seeing this is March 5th. I don't think it's gonna happen. :(
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:32 am

Sorry to hear that the plans have gone awry. But I'm sure that you would much rather they make sure they get it right than do it anyway, yes?
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by hentzau » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:06 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Sorry to hear that the plans have gone awry. But I'm sure that you would much rather they make sure they get it right than do it anyway, yes?
Well of course.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:26 pm

Discovery cleared for 9:20 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by hentzau » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:36 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Discovery cleared for 9:20 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11.
And I'm not going to be there.

Dammit.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:25 pm

Or not...
NASA postponed the launch of space shuttle Discovery just hours before it was to head to the international space station Wednesday because of a hydrogen gas leak that could have been catastrophic at liftoff. The leak was in the same system that has already caused a vexing one-month delay. Shuttle managers were shooting for another launch attempt Thursday night provided they could fix the problem quickly.
...
As NASA drained the external fuel tank and pondered its next move, Mission Control notified the three astronauts aboard the space station that their visitors would not be arriving on time. Commander Mike Fincke asked to be kept abreast of any developments.

NASA has until Monday to send Discovery to the space station, otherwise the flight will have to be put off until April. That's because a Russian Soyuz rocket is slated to blast off in two weeks, on a higher priority mission, with a fresh space station crew.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by The Meal » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:04 pm

Neal's Easy Science Page a Day Calendar, for Friday 13 March 2009, wrote:How many astronauts have died during missions?
Since manned spaceflights began in 1961, twenty-seven astronauts have died in service. Three were Soviet cosmonauts, who died in 1971 of suffocation when oxygen leaked from their spaceship. The rest have been Americans, almost all in accidents on launch or re-entry. In proportion to the total astronaut population, this makes being an astronaut the most dangerous job there is.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:28 pm

That would place the U.S. Astronaut count at 24, seven more than Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia.
Wiki on the Space Memorial wrote:
  • Theodore Freeman, one of the "Astronaut Group 3" recruits from 1963, died in a T-38 training accident on October 31, 1964.
  • Elliott See and Charles Bassett were killed in a T-38 accident on February 28, 1966 when their aircraft crashed into McDonnell Building 101 on a foggy day. They were originally slated to be the crew of Gemini 9. Bassett was another Group 3 recruit, whereas See was an Astronaut Group 2 recruit from 1962.
  • Clifton Williams died in a T-38 training crash on October 5, 1967. Another Group 3 recruit, he was in the Apollo astronaut rotation, and would have been on the crew of Apollo 12. He was also memorialized by a fourth star on the official Apollo 12 mission badge.
  • Michael J. Adams died in an X-15 crash on November 15, 1967. He was not a NASA astronaut recruit, but made the memorial by virtue of having earned the Astronaut Badge in the X-15 program.
  • Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. died on December 8, 1967, when the F-104 he was testing crashed and his ejection seat parachute failed to open. He was in the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program at the time...
  • M. L. "Sonny" Carter died on April 5, 1991, in the crash of Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 2311. Carter was a passenger traveling on NASA business.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Kraken » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:06 pm

The Manned Orbiting Laboratory was an Air Force project (successor to the Dyna-Soar space shuttle). I wonder if there are any other military casualties that we don't know about.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:19 pm

Looks like Sunday will be the last attempt before they have to scrub the mission.
NASA feels it has a good shot at sending shuttle Discovery to the international space station on Sunday following repairs out at the launch pad. A half-dozen or so workers were out at the Florida launch pad Friday, putting in a new hydrogen vent line hookup and fresh seals.
...
Forecasters expect an 80 percent chance of good weather for the evening launch.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:00 pm

Today marks the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo I tragedy. "A rough road leads to the stars."
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:02 pm

NPR
NASA paused Thursday to remember the 17 astronauts lost in the line of duty. The so-called Day of Remembrance — always the last Thursday of January — has special meaning this year. Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the shuttle Challenger launch disaster.
...
NASA's three space-related fatalities occurred within days of one another but years apart. Three astronauts were killed in the Apollo 1 launch pad fire on Jan. 27, 1967. Seven more died aboard Challenger on Jan. 28, 1986. And the seven-member crew of Columbia perished during re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003.

"The legacy of those who have perished is present every day in our work and inspires generations of new space explorers," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "Every day, with each new challenge we overcome and every discovery we make, we honor these remarkable men and women."

Bolden took part in wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Image

"National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden pauses after laying a wreath at the tomb of Apollo 1 astronauts Virgil Grissom and Roger Chaffee, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., in commemoration of NASA's National Day of Remembrance. "
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Kraken » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:04 pm

Twenty-five years later, I still remember how sick I felt when I watched the footage of Challenger's explosion played over and over and over.

Here's a remembrance with a good photo pack:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41296542/ns ... nce-space/" target="_blank

Here's a slightly meatier article about what it meant for the US space program:
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/sp ... csp=34news" target="_blank

After the last shuttle flight this summer, the US will lack manned orbital capability until 2016 at the earliest.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by LawBeefaroni » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:17 pm

Kraken wrote:Twenty-five years later, I still remember how sick I felt when I watched the footage of Challenger's explosion played over and over and over.
I was in middle school. Everyone was watching it. The teachers panicked and sent us to lunch early and when we got to the lunch room, the lunch women were just sitting there crying with the news on the radio.

It was an hour before us students actually knew what happened, we were speculating about parachutes and escape pods and such before anyone told us.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Kraken » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:18 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Kraken wrote:Twenty-five years later, I still remember how sick I felt when I watched the footage of Challenger's explosion played over and over and over.
I was in middle school. Everyone was watching it. The teachers panicked and sent us to lunch early and when we got to the lunch room, the lunch women were just sitting there crying with the news on the radio.

It was an hour before us students actually knew what happened, we were speculating about parachutes and escape pods and such before anyone told us.
I was getting ready to go to a late shift at the mall bookstore that I managed when my wife called and told me to turn on the TV. I watched for as long as I could before going to work, and of course listened to the radio on the drive in.

There was a TV store in the mall, with a big cluster of people watching the news on the display sets. We used to do that when there was a major news event -- head for the nearest TV.

I, too, kept waiting for good news that never came.

Ronald Reagan's State of the Union address that night was going to include Christa McAuliffe, and NASA was rumored to be under pressure to make sure she was in orbit to support the reference in the President's speech. After the disaster he postponed the State of the Union and instead delivered what's considered one of his best speeches memorializing the crew. That infuriated me.

The charge that NASA launched that day for political reasons has largely been relegated to tinfoil hat status. The intertubes tell me that "The persistent rumor that the White House had ordered the flight to proceed in order to spice up President Reagan’s scheduled State of the Union address seems based on political motivations, not any direct testimony or other first-hand evidence. Feynman personally checked out the rumor and never found any substantiation. If Challenger's flight had gone according to plan, the crew would have been asleep at the time of Reagan's speech, and no communications links had been set up."

I sure believed it back then. Even if the White House didn't order the launch, NASA's managers would certainly have wanted the President's approval. They had other, more practical reasons to keep their ambitious schedule, though, and Challenger had already been delayed a couple of times.

Twenty-five years later, I have absolved Reagan of the blood I thought was on his hands that day.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Odin » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:01 pm

Sure was a hell of a speech.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:35 am

Youtube has the video. I was too young (9) at the time for me to have any memories of the speech or thoughts on it. Heck, I'd probably already cried myself to sleep.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:54 am

Lest we forget that the road to private sector lift capabilities was paid for with the lives of our best and brightest.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:49 pm

Gus Grissom
"I would lie in bed once in a while at night and think of the capsule and the booster and ask myself, 'Now what in hell do you want to get up on that thing for?' ... But I knew the answer: We all like to be respected in our fields," Grissom said in a 1962 interview.
...
The spacecraft designers initially tailored the Gemini spacecraft around the short Grissom (who reports say was 5 feet 6 inches), leading some to call it the "Gusmobile". (Design changes were made when officials discovered most astronauts could not fit inside.) Grissom also co-flew the inaugural Gemini 3 flight of the program with John Young. In a joke concerning Liberty Bell 7, they named the spacecraft after the protagonist of the 1960s Broadway musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:17 pm

Ronald McNair
As his older brother, Carl, recalls, McNair started dreaming about space in South Carolina, where he grew up. And he wanted to study science. But first, he needed to get his hands on some advanced books. And that was a problem.

"When he was 9 years old, Ron, without my parents or myself knowing his whereabouts, decided to take a mile walk from our home down to the library," Carl tells his friend Vernon Skipper.

The library was public, Carl says — "but not so public for black folks, when you're talking about 1959."

"So, as he was walking in there, all these folks were staring at him — because they were white folk only — and they were looking at him and saying, you know, 'Who is this Negro?'

"So, he politely positioned himself in line to check out his books.

"Well, this old librarian, she says, 'This library is not for coloreds.' He said, 'Well, I would like to check out these books.'

"She says, 'Young man, if you don't leave this library right now, I'm gonna call the police.'

"So he just propped himself up on the counter, and sat there, and said, 'I'll wait.' "

The librarian called the police — and McNair's mother, Pearl.

When the police got to the library, Carl says, "Two burly guys come in and say, 'Well, where's the disturbance?'

"And she pointed to the little 9-year-old boy sitting up on the counter.

"And he [the policeman] says, 'Ma'am, what's the problem?'

By then, the boys' mother was on her way, Carl says.
"She comes down there praying the whole way there: 'Lordy, Jesus, please don't let them put my child in jail.' And my mother asks the librarian, 'What's the problem?' "

"He wanted to check out the books and, you know, your son shouldn't be down here," the librarian said, according to Carl.

"And the police officer said, 'You know, why don't you just give the kid the books?'

"And my mother said, 'He'll take good care of them.' "

So, the librarian reluctantly handed over the books. And then, Carl says, "my mother said, 'What do you say?' "

And Ron answered, "Thank you, ma'am."


The building is now named after him.
Opened in 2011, the Ronald E. McNair Life History Center is a museum that pays tribute to the life of Dr. McNair, a Lake City-born astronaut and physicist who died in the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle explosion.

...

Housed in Lake City’s old public library, the museum sits next to Dr. McNair’s gravesite along with a statue and square erected in his honor.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Markstrink » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:37 pm

Our 8th grade science teacher was in the final running to be on the challenger flight. I brought I was in6th grade at the time.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:35 am

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Challenger loss. The oldies radio station was paying tribute and then revisiting the music of the day.
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Archinerd » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:55 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Challenger loss. The oldies radio station was paying tribute and then revisiting the music of the day.
The three songs I listened to most in 1985/86 were (in order from most listened to least);

1. Thriller
2. Super Bowl Shuffle
3. Walk like an Egyptian
Last edited by Archinerd on Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:08 am

1985 and 1986 Hot 100 #1s

Dec 21 - Jan 11 Say You, Say Me
Jan 8 - Feb 8 That s What Friends Are For
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Re: Ad astra per aspera

Post by Holman » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:51 pm

I remember the day very well. I'm sure we all do.

My father studied physics in grad school, and when he got his degree he was being recruited by both NASA and AT&T. He went with the phone company.

This was in 1964. Seriously, Dad, WTF??
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