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Web Letters | The Nation

Reagan's Real Legacy

Plus, he got to give a moving eulogy...

One of the transformations President Reagan imposed was the purely political decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger into freezing high winds despite the objections of NASA engineers—despite the fact that the alloys in the rocket joints could and would fail in such hazardous temperatures and conditions. The president had planned to talk with school teacher Christa McAuliffe by phone that very night during the State of the Union address. That was the overriding decision that caused the death of the astronauts on that cold day in 1986. That was how Challenger was brought down to earth. It was top NASA engineers who lost their jobs but, unfortunately, Reagan kept his.

Hal J. Ridley, Jr.

Bridge City, TX

Feb 6 2011 - 10:15pm