January 28, 1986

Late January is a time for mourning and remembering for NASA. January 28 is the day the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded upon takeoff.

NASA

The Challenger  carried seven people on board, including the first teacher involved in a space mission.

Challenger disintegrated in the sky just 73 seconds into its flight. The crew died as Challenger exploded in flames while their families watched at Cape Canaveral and millions of others watched via television.

(Back row, left to right) Mission Specialist Ellison Onizuka, Teacher in Space Participant S. Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist Greg Jarvis, Mission Specialist Judy Resnick; (front row) Pilot Mike Smith, Commader Dick Scobee, and Mission Specialist Ron McNair.

“They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says “Give me a challenge, and I’ll meet it with joy.” The crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”

 

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