stiamo tranquilli…

La storia del pallone che sopravvisse al Challenger [EN]

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Su suggerimento di @Ruzar Briffa.

Il 28 gennaio 1986, in una mattinata eccezionalmente fredda per Cape Canaveral, avvenne l’ultimo lancio dello shuttle Challenger, che esplose 73 secondi dopo la partenza. L’intero equipaggio perse la vita e tutto quel che rimase della navetta furono 14 tonnellate di detriti, raccolti faticosamente dalla Nasa nei dintorni. Tra questi, intatto, c’era il pallone da calcio dell’astronauta Ellison Onizuka.

Questa è la storia di Ellison Onizuka, della sua famiglia e del pallone che a 30 anni di distanza è riuscito ad tornare nello spazio.

In the 30 years since the Onizukas lost Ellison, the soccer ball was dwarfed in its case by newer, bigger trophies as Clear Lake collected accomplishments worthy of display. The signatures, once so clear and vibrant, faded so badly that they were almost unreadable. Year by year, it settled deeper into the background of the life that bustled past it.

That is until the Clear Lake High School principal, Karen Engle, got an email from a parent. He was leaving a booster club meeting and stopped to look at the ball, remembering it from so long ago. He figured it should have its own display case, and he offered to build it.

Karen didn’t believe him at first. She’d seen the Challenger explode. There was no way a soccer ball survived that — and if it had, there was no way it had been sitting in a display case just outside her office. She walked out into the hallway and looked at it closely through the glass. There was no plaque or dedication, nothing explaining what it was or all that it had survived. Just a bunch of faded signatures. Maybe the parent was mistaken; maybe it was just an old championship ball.

But as she looked closer, there in faded ink were the words that made her realize what she’d unknowingly walked by since her first day as principal: “Good Luck, Shuttle Crew!”

Immagine: Nasa

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