Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


Recovered Space Shuttle Challenger Soccer Ball Finally Goes To Space

For any of us of a certain age, we all remember where we were when the space shuttle Challenger broke apart right after liftoff. Unexpectedly, however, a piece of that ill-fated mission has — 30 years later — made it to Earth’s orbit.

A soccer ball had been on the space shuttle because of Ellison Onizuka. He had brought it with him because his daughter was a soccer player at Clear Lake High School (CLHS) in Houston, Texas. After the disaster, the soccer ball was found floating in the ocean with other pieces of the wreckage.

But that isn’t the end of its story. The soccer ball has finally made it to space thanks to the current commander of the International Space Station, Shane Kimbrough, who also has a son who plays sports at the same school.

According to a recent article, Kimbrough “posted to Twitter Friday (Feb. 3) a photo of the black and white ball floating in front of the windows in the orbiting laboratory's Cupola. His post came less than a week after the anniversary of the Jan. 28, 1986 Challenger tragedy.”.

A Touching Memorial

Janelle Onizuka was 16 at the time her father died on the shuttle mission.

"The soccer ball in many ways has continued the mission my father embarked upon so many years ago," said Onizuka-Gillian in the statement released by CLHS. "It has continued to travel and explore space, while inspiring so many through its history."   

The Challenger disaster took the lives of Onizuka along with commander Dick Scobee, pilot Michael Smith, mission specialists Ron McNair and Judy Resnik, payload specialist Gregory Jarvis and Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe.

Videos you might like