Wow what a coincidence I was just watching old footage of the Challenger explosion yesterday. Most of the newscasts were confused at first because they lost visual site of the shuttle after the explosion.
I was in high school when it happened. They had announced over the loudspeaker what had happened. It was of course a big thing in schools because Christa McAuliffe was on the shuttle. My friends and I were all space nerds so we were pretty shooken up, but being teenage boys as well we were also making jokes by lunch time.