30th anniversary of Challenger explosion

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 20:57:11-05

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Challenger explosion that shocked the nation.

Employees at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center reflected on their experiences with Challenger. 

"The Challenger did its first flight from California to Florida based out of here and did land here several times," said David McBride, Center Director of Armstrong Flight Research Center.

"I happened to be fortunate enough to go out to the pad when it was ready for launch and was actually able to go into the vehicle and be up there where the crew was in the actual vertical position," said Phil Burkhardt, System Safety Engineer for Jacobs Engineering.

The Challenger's explosion altered plans to bring the space shuttle Discovery to Edwards Air Force Base to become the first shuttle to launch from the West Coast. 

NASA ended its space shuttle program in 2011.