Revisiting History: The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

Part III – The Heroes

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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I started this series on the Challenger disaster for two reasons. The first was my high regard for our astronauts and their courage and contribution to the progress of humanity. Whether they gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives or merely strapped themselves to the side of a monster rocket to “bravely go where no man has gone before” and returned to Earth safely, their intelligence, skill, courage, tenacity and contribution has earned my highest respect. Any loss of these unique individuals is a tragedy for the human race, not just the United States. The second reason was the  unique teaching possibility to connect dates and chart positions to illustrate the very visible inter-connectedness between 1776, 1983, 1986 and the individual birthdates of the seven heroes who left their mark on history.  What can we learn astrologically?

This is a teaching article, so it demands you get out your best astrologer brain. Part one of this series was the forensics of the maiden flight of Challenger, the launch and explosion, and the connections to the USA chart. Part two was the application of Charubel’s Symbolic degrees to the disaster charts, which was a mind-blowing experience for me. Now we must address the people, the astronauts themselves, their meeting with destiny, and the association with the forensics of the crash itself, the fate of Challenger as an entity and their personal ties to the USA chart and to each other. They met a common fate, the seven plus the shuttle, and our country was rocked to its core. This is the story of heroes, those who contributed to human evolution.

The forensic chart data was provided in part 1. This article provides the chart data for the seven astronauts. Five are natal charts, two are sunrise charts* because I was not able to obtain actual birth times. For sunrise charts, the points that can be seriously affected by time of day are starred (*) to remind you that the positions are speculative. Those points are the midheaven, ascendant, vertex, part of fortune and Moon. Should you want to look at the charts themselves you may do so: cast natal, naibod progressed and diurnal (diurnal was explained in part 1.) For the purpose of this article all positions have been listed on a single spreadsheet to make it easy to see the connections. Color coding on the spreadsheet divides the listings into 10˚ increments for cardinal, fixed and mutable (a hard aspect table). Soft aspects illustrate other less volatile experiences. Note that aspects out of sign are not visible by this method but still do exist. 

The Astronauts

Gregory Bruce Jarvis had been an USAF officer and was a Hughes Aircraft electrical engineer operating as payload specialist.

Jarvis, Gregory: Aug 24, 1944, *6:53:20 AM EWT, Detroit, MI 42 N 20, 83 W 03

Sharon Christa McAuliff from Concord High School in Concord, NH was to be our first teacher from space conducting experiments and teaching two classes while Challenger was in orbit.

McAuliff, Christa, Sep 2, 1948, 10:13 PM EDT, Boston, MA 42 N 22, 71 W 04

Ronald Ervin McNair was a physicist (previously with the Hughes Research Lab in Malibu, CA) and a NASA Astronaut serving as mission specialist. An accomplished saxophonist, McNair was also scheduled to record a saxophone solo onboard the Challenger for inclusion in Jean Michel Jarre’s Rendez-Vous album.

McNair, Ronald, Oct 21, 1950, *6:32:29 AM EST, Lake City, SC 33 N 52, 79 W 45

Ellison Shoji Onizuka was a Japanese-American astronaut from Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii serving as mission specialist. A former USAF test pilot and engineer, Onizuka was the first Asian American to reach space (Discovery).

Onizuka, Ellison: Jun 24, 1946, 6:30 PM HST, Kealahou, HI 20 N 46, 156 W 20

Judith Arlene Resnik was a highly educated electrical engineer (Ph.D.) and NASA Astronaut who was to serve as mission specialist aboard Challenger.

Resnick, Judith: Apr 5 1949, 6:52 AM EST, Akron, OH 41 N 05, 81 W 31

Francis Richard “Dick” Scobee was an aerospace engineer and NASA Astronaut, the commander of the ill-fated Challenger. An experienced USAF officer his were the last recorded words, “Roger, go at throttle up.”

Scobee, Francis: May 19, 1939, 10:40 AM PST, Cle Elum, WA 47 N 12, 120 W 56

Michael John Smith was an American astronaut and pilot of the Challenger. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Navy pilot. His was the last voice heard on the cockpit voice recorder, saying, “Uh-oh.”

Smith, Michael J: Apr 30, 1945, 1:23 PM EWT, Morehead City, NC 34 N 43, 76 W 44

The Congressional Space Medal of Honor is awarded to those astronauts who distinguish themselves “by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and mankind”. All seven Challenger astronauts were awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor on July 23, 2004.

Astrological aspects We have to establish our base first, which I chose to be the chart of the event itself. We could argue that the USA chart, being oldest, should be the base and we could also argue that Challenger’s Maiden Flight should be the base. Each view would have value. But to me the launch/explosion is the moment of greatest impact. You can re-aspect the spreadsheet using any of the bases and you should still have your connections and your proof. We will do one base to show the method.  First look at the connections in the launch/explosion (L/E) chart itself. What degrees stand out?

L/E MC 24 Cap 37/55

L/E Asc 06 Tau 26/49, Sun 8 Aqu 28, Mer 06 Aqu 08, Plu 07 Sco 19,

TNod 03 Tau 52R, MNod 4 Tau 21

L/E Moo 11 Vir 02/3

L/E Ven 10 Aqu 38

LE Mar 27 Sco 17, Jup 24 Aqu 31, Lil 28 Leo

L/E Sat 07 Sag 42, PFor 9 Sag 00/24 (Part of Misfortune?)

L/E Ura 20 Sag 58

L/E Nep 04 Cap 35

L/E Vx 16 Lib 01/12

Notice that early fixed is alive with aspects, and with late fixed second in connections. This is a good place to begin. For the purposes of this brief viewing, ignore the diurnals because diurnals are transit charts for an individual’s natal and most positions will be similar to the launch/explosion chart in this instance. We want to eliminate duplication where possible so we do not skew the results. The diurnals are good to show additional MC/Asc/Moon connections for an individual.

Almost every single natal and progressed chart on the spreadsheet has positions in early fixed which equates to conjunctions, squares and oppositions to the launch/explosion chart, just what you would expect for such a tragic event. The only exception is McNair’s progressed. 10 charts total, the L/E as base, 9 natal/progressed charts to compare to the base, 17 out of 18 possible visible aspects.

Late fixed is next on our list with 15 of 18 possible connections to the base chart using the natal and progressed of those same charts.

Let us shift away from the strong suits of the L/E chart and look at a single placement, The L/E Moon is 11 Vir 2-3. I chose that because the USA natal ascendant I prefer is 11 Vir 46. For pointing out the impact of the emotional tragedy on the USA citizenry, look to the country’s Moon, the people. Centering on 11-12 mutable (hard aspects only), 12 of 18 possibilities are closely aspected. Why not all? Some of the astronauts are more well known than others such as the teacher, Christa McAuliffe, as one who is most well-known and her natal Sun is 10.5 Virgo.

Now it is your turn. Look at the L/E Vertex, which represents expectations from outside ourselves that must be fulfilled to the maiden flight and progressions, the USA natal and progressions and the natal and progressions of each astronaut (18 charts). This was a shared destiny, one that impacted a nation and a world. We need our heroes. We prefer them alive, but in this instance their lives were given to a noble undertaking. They would have touched us with their success but instead they touched us with their deaths. We were bettered because of this event and those heroes. The space program was thoroughly investigated and changes made wherever possible. We learned. We grew. We progressed. We received benefit despite the tragedy that occurred.

This is living astrology. An event, its impact, and the people involved must share nearly exact degrees and activations. You must be willing to do the necessary work to make it visible. That is how we learn, how we can sift and sort through the possibilities to determine facts.

First posted on All Things Healing website Dec 2010, republished with slight editing.

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