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Do You Remember January 28th, 1986?

challenger-cabin
aerospaceweb.org

Many across America were glued to their TV Sets, watching the still new technology of the Space Shuttle Challenger, as it lifted off from Florida…74 seconds later,

 

You could almost hear America gasp in horror

as the Challenger disappeared into a white cloud of fuel and vapor, miles up in the stratosphere.  The Challenger had disintigrated.  Due to a chain reaction structural failure, the Space Shuttle did NOT explode, but broke apart violently, as did the fuel tanks, creating the huge white plumes that were seen in the sky for hours.  The cabin compartment, containing the crew of 7, broke away from the body and plunged for nearly three minutes before crashing into the Atlantic, killing all seven astronauts.  The most widely known was Christina McAuliffe, a schoolteacher from New Hampshire who was chosen from 11,000 applicants to become the first US civillian to venture to space.   Despite a two year grounding of the shuttle program, dozens of flights have taken place since 1986.   We at KORD pause to remember the seven who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of space exploration and science.

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