Women in Space: Judith Resnik

This article is one of a series of articles in which I will profile every woman astronaut, cosmonaut and taikonaut who has been into space.  Last time we looked at the career of Sally Ride. Today I’m profiling astronaut Judith Resnik. (The feature image above is a collection of drawings of women astronauts by artist Phillip J Bond. You can find Phillip’s wonderful series on women astronauts here.)

When the space shuttle Challenger was due to launch in the middle of the night (Australian time) on the 28th of January of 1986 – I was in the middle of a standard teenage baby sitting gig.  The kids must have been 6 or 7 years old and we were all very excited by the upcoming launch, but disappointed by the late hour.  As I tucked the kids into bed I agreed to wake them up during the night so we could watch the launch.   We didn’t get up during the night, I don’t remember why – maybe I didn’t set the alarm, maybe I decided not to wake them, maybe I just forgot.  When I woke in the morning and turned on the TV, the images of the Challenger exploding a minute into launch were so horrifying they still affect me today. Continue reading