Following the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986, the United States did not launch a manned space flight for 975 days, until Discovery flew on September 29, 1988. We watched that on a small television at the newspaper where I was working.
Today marks the 29th anniversary of the Challenger explosion. It also marks the 1,300th day since the last manned launch of a US spacecraft, the shuttle Atlantis. All US astronauts who have gone into space since then have been passengers, as the only nation to reach the moon bums rides from people who happen to be going their way.