'It hurts as much today': Brother of Challenger astronaut honors the fallen 30 years later

AUBURN, Wash. -- Like so many around the world, Jim Scobee watched his television as the space shuttle Challenger lifted off on Jan. 28, 1986 -- and then suddenly exploded as it was rising in the sky.

“Dick said something could go wrong," said Jim Scobee, younger brother of the shuttle commander, Dick Scobee. "He said, ‘If something goes wrong, make sure Mom and Dad are all right.' So I did."

Dick Scobee perished on board, along with five other astronauts and a teacher, after a booster engine failed just 73 seconds into the launch.

“It hurts as much today as it did then,” Jim Scobee said.

Jim and Dick were born in Cle Elum and raised in Auburn.  Dick enlisted in the Air Force in 1957, graduated college in 1965 and went straight for pilot training as an officer.

“Ever since I can remember, he always had a fascination with planes,” said Jim.

At Scobee Elementary School in Auburn, the community gathered Thursday night to honor Dick's life, and those who died with him and those who loved him.

“When I look at those children, that’s our future,” Jim said.

Jim and his wife hope the students who attend his brother's namesake school will follow in his footsteps -- doing what they love and loving what they do.