I was in 7th grade PE class when I heard about it. I had gone back to the locker room and it was on the radio. I came back out and told my teacher about it and she said I was lying. Stupid ?itch made me run laps. About 10 minutes later another teacher came out of the locker room and told her what had happened. I instantly stopped running laps and gave her dirty looks. She never apologized, she was a male hater.
At least the test pilots knew what they were getting into and to some extent could control their fate. The shuttle crews relied on people that probably didn't know jack about the glass transition temperature of the o-rings in the solid rocket boosters and bowed to pressure to make the launch on time after it had be delayed multiple times.
All of them that signed up for it regardless have a way bigger set than I do. The test pilots back in the late 40's, early 50's died at horrendous rates.