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“Roger, go at throttle up.”

Updated: Jan 29, 2016 2:42 AM

30 Years Later: Remembering The Crew of The Challenger

Roger, go at throttle up.

Those were the fateful last words of Challenger commander Dick Scobee and the final communication on the air-to-ground loop. Seconds later, witnesses on the ground stood aghast while they watched in horror as Challenger suddenly separated into pieces and smoke filled the sky.

If you missed it on Thursday, I read this poem in tribute to the seven crew members who lost their lives that chilly morning as they attempted to reach new heights:

I MUST go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must down go to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

By John Masefield


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