This Day in History: Challenger space shuttle explosion kills 7 – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-01-24 16:27:33 –

Thursday is a solemn anniversary for the space community. Seven astronauts were killed on January 28, 1986, when the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded shortly after its launch.

Among them was Christa McAuliffe, a teacher at New Hampshire High School, who was selected by NASA as the first teacher in space. She intended to work on the crew as a payload specialist. The other six crew members are Payload Specialist Gregory Jarvis, Mission Specialist Judith A. Resnick, Mission Commander Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, Mission Specialist Ronald E. McNair, Pilot Mike J. Smith, and Mission. It was specialist Ellison S. Onizuka.

The shuttle took off shortly before noon from the Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida. Americans watched it from underground and on television across the country. Many of them were school children who were very interested in the launch thanks to McCorriff.

According to NASA, the booster engine broke after the launch. Only 73 seconds after the flight began, the Space Shuttle exploded in the air and collapsed.

It is controversial whether all seven astronauts died in the explosion or whether some astronauts lived until they fell to the ground. This was the first time NASA lost an astronaut in flight.

That night, President Ronald Reagan addressed the Americans. After condolences to the families of the murdered people, he looked back on the country’s space exploration.

“We’re used to the concept of the universe, but we may forget that it’s just the beginning. We’re still pioneers. The Challenger crew, they were pioneers.” He said.

He continued talking to the schoolchildren who were watching, telling them that tragedy could be part of the process of broadening our horizons.

“The future doesn’t belong to the weak, it belongs to the brave,” he said. “The Challenger crew was drawing us into the future. We will continue to follow them.”

NASA celebrates more than one solemn anniversary on January 28th. I also remember the people who died in the Apollo 1 and Columbia accidents. The Apollo 1 fire, which killed three people, broke out on January 27, 1967, and the Columbia disaster, which killed seven people, broke out on February 1, 2003.

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