• Do You Remember Where You Were? 30 Years Since Space Shuttle Challenger Exploded

    On January 28, 1986 The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after take off. It was later determined a faulty “O” ring seal had been the cause. The entire seven member crew was lost.

    The explosion startled the nation and quite literally brought us back to earth. The Space Shuttle program was a huge success and had flying high for many years. In 1986, the space shuttle had become commonplace. Missions were going up and coming back with such frequency, they barely made the news. America dominated space. The space station was being built and we seemed invincible.

    The dangers of space travel came home in living color. Those who lived it, often remember where they were when it happened. We all watched the images with horror. A collective memory, much like 9-11, the Kennedy assassination, for older people, the Pearl Harbor attack.

    Seven people died in the Challenger explosion, and most interestingly, a civilian teacher named Christa McAuliffe. McAuliffe was a high school social studies teacher and had been selected for the Teacher-in-Space program from more than 1100 applicants. She was the first civilian to go into space. Her tragic end only highlighted our dreams as a people to keep learning and pushing our bounds.

    She was honored and excited to get to go into space.

    The entire Challenger crew is listed here:

    The Crew of STS-51L (Challenger)
    Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander
    Mike J. Smith, pilot
    Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist
    Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist
    Gregory Jarvis, payload specialist
    Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist
    Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Teacher-in-Space payload specialist

    Gone but not forgotten.

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