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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Space Shuttle Endeavour Completes Journey in LA

After circling the earth, Endevour runway is in the streets of Los Angeles leading to its final museum display.

NASA’s youngest space shuttle, now retired, is set to complete its two-day road trip to the California Science Center on Saturday evening.

A large crowd of ten thousand people approximately celebrated Endeavour homecoming which rolled up Manchester Boulevard to The Forum, the former indoor arena of the L.A. Lakers.

‘We are thrilled that all of you and everyone in Inglewood is joining us in welcoming home to the Los Angeles area.’, said CDC president Jeffrey Rudolph.

Some astronauts, including Walt Cunningham, Apollo 7 Pilot, and Endeavour’s last pilot Greg. H. Johnson, didn’t assist to the shuttle ceremony.

Noe I. for Windows of the World

Space Shuttle Endeavour Returns To California

The Space shuttle Endeavour returned Thursday to California on a wistful journey over the country that paid homage to NASA workers and Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, an astronaut.

A 747 jet carrying the space shuttle will take off again on Friday morning to make an appearance over Sacramento, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles skies stopping at the Los Angeles International Airport where Endeavour will be prepped for a slow ride on a special flatbed trailer through city streets next month and ending as a museum showpiece.

Endeavour’s has been delayed twice during the past days due to stormy weather along the Gulf of Mexico and on Wednesday it departed from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida where crowds were looking for the space shuttle to appear in the sky.

Space shuttle Endeavour flew 25 times, where its mission was mostly to supply the International Space Station and spent 299 days in space and circled Earth nearly 4,700 times, logging 123 million miles.

Picture Gene Blevins  /  Reuters

Noe I. for Windows of the World

Mystery Mini Space Shuttle X-37B Lands in California

The mysterious unmanned mini-space shuttle on a classified mission has finally returned to earth.

It landed early Saturday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after weather conditions kept pushing back landing attempts the last few days.

The Air Force’s X-37B, is an unmanned reusable spacecraft built by Boeing that has spent more than a year on a classified mission in space.

Measuring 29 feet in length and having a 15-foot wingspan, the unmanned reusable X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle looks like a miniature version of NASA’s now retired space shuttles.

The spacecraft landed at Vandenberg at 5:48am PDT after having spent 469 days in orbit.

The craft went into orbit on March 5, 2011, but as was the case during its first launch in 2010, very little has been known about its mission or what payloads it might be carrying because its missions are classified.

That has led to speculation that the spacecraft is involved in intelligence gathering operations or the testing of new technologies.

In keeping with the scarce mission details for the X-37B, all the Air Force would say in a statement Saturday wais that the spacecrafthad “conducted on-orbit experiments” during its mission.

Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre, the X-37B program manager said, “With the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet, the X-37B OTV program brings a singular capability to space technology development.” He added, “The return capability allows the Air Force to test new technologies without the same risk commitment faced by other programs. We’re proud of the entire team’s successful efforts to bring this mission to an outstanding conclusion.”

Read more on Good Morning America.

Past Week In Pictures: June 7 – 14, 2012

Paddlers are dwarfed by the container vessel CAP Jervis as they approach the mouth of the St. Johns River, June 12, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Coal miners demonstrate with their lamps lit through the streets of Leon, Spain, on June 12. Spanish coal miners staged a nationwide strike organized by unions opposed to subsidy reductions from 300 million euros to 110 million euros.

Smoke from the High Park wildfire fills the air over a small barn, turning the sky orange, near Laporte, Colo., June 10.

The sun reflects off solar panels of the International Space Station as it floats between night and day, June 8.

Children climb on a canvas shelter in Levinsky Park in the Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv, Israel, June 11, where thousands of African migrants reside. Israeli authorities rounded up dozens of migrants slated for deportation, most of them Africans from South Sudan, as the government weighs tough penalties against Israelis who help illegal aliens.

A van is trapped in a hole after a cave-in happened on Fuxing road in Guilin, China, due to long-term rainfall, June 8. The driver was injured in the incident.

See more and also get to vote for your favorite one on MSNBC.com

Week in Pictures: May 31 – June 7

Space shuttle Enterprise is carried by barge underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on June 3, in New York City. Enterprise was on its way to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, where it will be on permanent display.

Brandon Harder, gas man for Jimmie Johnson, goes airborne as Johnson accelerates from the pit during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, May 27.

People gather at the site of a plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria, June 3. A passenger plane carrying more than 150 people crashed in Nigeria’s largest city, killing everyone on board and several others on the ground. The pilot is said to have reported engine failure just before the aircraft went down.

A Pakistani boy who lives near a brick factory covers his face with a scarf to avoid a sand storm on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, June 6.

Venus appears as a small black dot (upper left corner) against the massive surface of the sun on its orbit between Earth and the center of our solar system, June 5. The transit of Venus across the sun is one of the rarest celestial sights visible from Earth. The event marked the last time Venus will cross the sun (as seen from Earth) for 105 years.

Kazakh nomads herd their livestock across a plain in Altay, China. The Altay, known in Chinese as the Aletai region, is situated in the most northern part of Xinjiang, sharing a border on the east with Mongolia and on the west with Russia.

NBC News.

Today’s Best Pictures; The Enterprise makes Intrepid landing; Waves in Australia & More

The space shuttle Enterprise is lifted by a crane onto the USS Intrepid, June 6, 2012, in New York City. Upon the Intrepid, the space shuttle will be on display for viewing by the general public. NASA’s space shuttle program came to an end in August, 2011, after 30 years of service.

Sightseers brave treacherous conditions at Bronte Beach on Wednesday in Sydney, Australia. Wind speeds of up to 127km/h were recorded last night as Sydney was lashed by wild weather caused by the arrival of a low pressure system. A high tide and a large swell is heightening the risk of sand erosion at local beaches on the New South Wales coast.

This combo picture made on Wednesday shows living statues depecting an Apache Indian, a sand man, Elvis Presley, a matador, the invisible man, the newspaper man, a bronze sweeper and Charlie Chaplin near the Puerta del Sol square. Since the beginning of the economic crisis in Spain, the number of living statues has increased in Madrid. Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the industrialised world, with 24.44 percent of the workforce idle, according to the national statistics office Ine.

MSNBC News.