• Member Since 19th Dec, 2015
  • offline last seen 10 hours ago


Commission Status: FULL


One night, the moon turns red and seemingly begins to cry. Luna refuses to explain what is going on but instead demands that Twilight Sparkle be sent to her instead.

Written in commemoration of the Challenger disaster.

Featured? Thank you. For remembering them.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 115 )

Starts playing "Spirit in the Sky"

Wow Penalt. That hit hard, and I...

I was born long after the Challenger, but just reading about it is just filled with sadness.

You did good here, with Luna's story of humanity. That author's note, though...I'm genuinely worried that I might not live to see us really going through the stars, and I'm in my 20s.

Regardless, wonderful job Penalt.

7904383 It has to be a generational thing. There is a saying, that stretches back as far as the 12th century that, in various forms, goes:

If I have seen further than others, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.

The dream has to be passed from one generation to the next. And thank you for the kind words about the story. Once again, this came to me, in a rush, on my farm of dreams.

I am now far into that part of my life where there are more days behind then there are ahead. If there is anything I would ask of any of you who come behind me, it is this. Don't let the dream of space die with my generation. Get us to the stars. Earth is the cradle of humanity. But no cradle lasts forever.

There is not much to say...But I will share some of the things I listen to when I am down.

We are in the Generations between 2 eras...We can not explore the planet and the stars are out of our reach...But that should not Despair us It should Motivate Us To make sure that the Next ones will have the opportunity that we had not and that they will follow the human instinct to explore and learn

I was born rather after roughly two decades the Challenger incident, and I didn't realize this. Wow... I mean... I love space... eheh...

I was in school on that dreadful day. Was it french class? Math class? Either of those were in the portable. Must have been math, because I remember my blonde bully who nearly gouged my eye out in a fight (two against one) had come late and said that she saw the shuttle explode. I heard her tell the teacher, but no one else did.

The principal came over the loudspeaker when the period was over, and told the school. Told us to go to our TAPS (homeroom) and to go quietly to the gym for an assembly. My TAPS was in the gym, so my group had to help set up.

Then, for the rest of the day, we watched news reports about it. Over and over and over again.

I still snarl whenever I see the explosion used as filler for "something in sky explodes here." Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future were the first to use that, that I can remember. I stopped watching that show then. I've seen it about four other times....

People died, if not during the explosion, then during the sudden stop. There's conspiracy theories galore that an astronaut survived, more about when, or where, they actually died...

Doesn't matter... 7 people tried to fly, and like Icarus, they burnt their wings on the sun...

"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, as they slipped the surly bonds of earth, and touched the face of god." -Ronald Regan

Both Apollo 1 and the Challenger explosion happened around the same time in the month, and both John Glenn and Gene Cernan died recently. :(
I really needed this.
Here is a video that I watch anytime I want to not feel sad. I would highly recommend watching the rest of this guys videos.

Here are some more good watches.

And finally, some KSP, because it's awesome.

And if all that wasn't enough...

Per Ardua, Ad Astra

Don't forget Columbia, it happened in this timeframe, as well. And Apollo 13, with what could have been...

7904803 Apollo 13 was 16 years before Challenger. Columbia 17 years after.

7904866 True. But they do serve as reminders of the dangers of space travel. It's not safe out there.

A great and truly moving, respectful tribute. May we always remember those who gave their lives in the name of furthering the cause of science and exploration.

7904911 Thank you. A lot of it was very hard to write because I was channeling my emotions from that time into my portrayal of Luna.

I remember that day too well, and have made it a point to never forget those seven names. That was a very moving tribute, Penalt. Thanks.

So much struggle and hatred today, We no longer look much into what's out there but more on what the others have here. We hunger for land, wealth, and privileges for our life here. But, where are the thirst for knowledge of what is out there? Why can't we settle things here and focus on what we can gain from the stars?

Maybe by then we wont destroy ourselves and our planet, maybe we can learn more of what is out there?

As a sci-fi fan, the dream of the stars is always with me. As humanity ever presses onward, may we never forget those who paved the path with their lifeblood. Heroes, all.

... Oddly... cathartic in a way.

The disaster happened before my time, though barely. I did learn about it in school and was even then awestruck and saddened by it, one of the few tragedies I even vaguely understood for being slow on comprehension and also for being so young.

7904378 Never much really liked that song, but it fits here.

They may be years apart, but the dates are VERY close together...

Apollo 1 fire: January 27, 1967.
Challenger Explosion: January 28, 1986
Columbia explosion: February 1, 2003.

Eight days in winter, three of which should NEVER be forgotten by any space program.

I was in Home Economics at the time when it happened. I remember one of the students in class saying terrorists blew the shuttle up which was rather absurd. I was in grade nine at the time. In grade ten I did a Science Fair project that explained the faulty O rings that caused the disaster.

I still get teary eyed thinking about that day. :fluttercry:

What I feel sad about is that one of the engineers said they shouldn't launch but didn't press hard enough to stop it. He has lived with that guilt for years.

Corny as all fuck.

If Trump will try for re-election we MIGHT get to see people go to Mars with SpaceX

I once saw some nicely done space exploration's tribute video on YT (it was using some anime clips - Saturn like launches). Can't find it now. Anyone?

I must thank you for writing such an excellent story, whilst also thanking you for writing such moving one. I sincerely hope you write more just as moving as this.


What the hell is the matter with you

"seventeen hundred years"
From which arbitrary starting point? Because Luna has no reason to start counting from 1 AD.

Also, the phrase "per ardua ad astra" is barely more than a century old, despite its Latin words.

I admit, I was expecting a human apocalypse story and was surprised to get a Challenger memorial story.
Kudos. I found it tasteful and very respectful of the people who lost their lives then. :pinkiesmile:

"Ad Astra Per Aspera." A rough road leads to the stars.

We must persevere, and push on, For the sake of those who have fallen. If we do not, then what is the point of their death?

"Standing on the shoulders of giants" is something Isaac Newton said as well along the way. The one thing I mourn the loss of the most is the ability to get stuff done. The hoover dam was built in the span of about 5 years. The Apollo space program went from nothing to landing on the moon in about the span of 10 years, in addition to developing and solidifying fundamental computer science that every modern computer today uses.

The space shuttle? smaller payload and couldn't even go past low earth orbit with a lot more energy expanded. This comes from the history of what the space program was built on, and the people involved, chief among them being Wernher Von Braun, and NASA's relationship with congress.

Because of the cold war, congress wanted to get to the moon as fast as possible, which was what the engineers wanted as well, so it happened. Very remarkably it happened, with probably the most technological advances in such a short amount of time as any other time span in history. When it came time to build the space shuttle, Von Braun and friends already had a space shuttle design in mind, with a lot of its components already pretty well planned out, but that is not what congress wanted. Come the building process of the space shuttle, congress micromanaged its design to the point that most of the senior engineers, including Von Braun, left NASA from not being able to design it correctly.

Let us consider for a moment, what if congress had not micromanaged its design, and sided with the engineers the entire time to this day.

and to lighten the mood a little, I present a comic I made when I first found ponies

Godspeed, Apollo 1
Godspeed, Challenger.
And Godspeed, Columbia.


7906706 First, it is obscene to post that garbage on a story honoring those brave men and women's sacrifice. Secondly, that garbage is ridiculous, and infinitely more tenuously held together than Shia LeBouf's sanity.

For crap like that to be true, there would have to be literally tens of thousands of people involved, NONE of which ever "spilled the beans". The luddites who create crap like that would rather believe you're being lied to than understand what has been done and will be done. For them to so insult and mock the astronauts who died, is beyond rapproach.

And if the Earth was flat and there was no space travel, there would be no GPS, satellite TV, or any of that. UGH.


(And thus Alondro invented the next great Internet Conspiracy Theory) :trollestia:

Mentioning the many deaths of earlier aviation pioneers is appropriate but it weakens the main focus.

On the day of disaster, White House received many telegrams with condolences from all the nations in the world. USSR was first - their telegram arrived fifteen minutes before the launch.
Washington asks - "Why did the right booster explode?"
Moscow - "Why did the left one fail to explode?"
Yes, I have to agree with the comment above. Corny all the way to eleven. Not to mention that Luna has no reason to give any damn about some hairless monkeys out there trying out their space program.

7906438 Amen. :raritycry: May God be with those who suffered, and still suffer, from this tragic event.

It was a shame to lose those men and women. I didn't see Challenger explode, but I did see Columbia go down. Poor guys. :fluttershysad:

7907060 You're darn right. I watched the Challenger explosion live on television. There are some things you do NOT troll about, and the sacrifice of men and women like that is one of them.

As a little foal I saw challengers of the stars explode and in the smoke seven souls sung out, "To the heavens we go, and our desire to reach across them so strong we not the strength to return."

As an a stallion, another challenger of the stars bearing name of my foalhood home, burns across the sky. Another herd of souls sung out from the clouds, "We to not the strength to return. We to unto the heavens travel in search of those before who's hooves trot forever more among the stars".

I fear my goddess that never again we shall feel thy skin with our hooves. Nor nuzzle one another with our will of fire. Not even thy imbrace my love can warm the vastness of space that rejects us so. As thou humble servant my time has passed to fly towards thy bosom. As passion I inspire upon the hearts of young foals, might one day forgiveness you grant my soul goddess as they trot upon thy breast.


Saw this happen in elementary school. Back when every NASA launch was telivised to school kids. It sticks with you.

I've always seen this written "Per Aspera Ad Astra", but 'ardua' also makes perfect sense. Thank you for writing this.

Damn. This was... Intense.

And I suppose Stanley Kubrick filmed the moon landing in a studio at Area 51 too, eh?

Beautifully written.

I was close, so close. You almost made me cry, which few can say. Very well done, and a beautiful tribute. You know, the title of one of my favorite albums is 'Ad astra, per aspera'. And every since I found out exactly what that meant, it's been driving me forward. No matter the pain, the challenge, the difficulty: strive for nothing but the absolute limit.

Although I was alive when Challenger exploded, I was too young to remember it and probably didn't see it live, though I've certainly seen the footage. I was in college when Columbia broke up on reentry, but I didn't hear about it until about an hour after the fact. Even though the Space Shuttle program continued for another six years, it felt like something beyond those seven lives ended that day*.

My grandmother lived in Houston at the time and attended a church near Mission Control popular with NASA workers. She knew at least one of the astronauts who died on Columbia.

Thank you for this story. Requiescat In Pacem, all the brave souls who lost their lives pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and achievement.

* If I recall correctly, it was a Saturday. That's why we were all able to spend all day glued to CNN.

Login or register to comment