Seven space explorers, consisting of teacher Christa McAuliffe, lost their lives in the 1986 an are shuttle tragedy.

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Seven an are explorers, consisting of teacher Christa McAuliffe, shed their resides in the 1986 space shuttle tragedy.


The explosion the doomed the Challenger an are shuttle remains one of the most harrowing and also heartbreaking moment in American history. ~ above the morning of January 28, 1986, what was intended to be a seminal minute for NASA and also the future of an are travel turned right into a disaster the was perceived on live TV by millions approximately the country. More wall-to-wall coverage and years that retrospectives have seared the grainy image of a faulty rocket bursting right into flames and also the Challenger and its 7 brave passenger veering turn off course right into the nationwide consciousness.


The Challenger had actually flown ripe times before over the previous ripe years and helped the United states reach several crucial milestones. The shuttle brought the very first woman and African American right into space, hosted the an initial space lab and enabled the an initial astronaut-run satellite repair. Yet it was the tenth and ultimately ill-fated launch native Kennedy room Center in Florida the was by much the Challenger’s most anticipated, in huge part many thanks to the unique nature the the crew the was making the journey.


Any disaster of this size is a good tragedy, however the Challenger’s doomed trip felt particularly devastating since it carried a crew that reflected the diversity that the united States and multiculturalism that was start to arise after the civil legal rights era. Many of the astronauts were making background of part kind, leaving numerous different areas in mourning.

Christa McAuliffe


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Christa McAuliffe

Photo: NASA


Much that the excitement focused on Christa McAullife, a teacher from brand-new Hampshire that was to become the very first civilian to fly in space. She earned she spot top top the spaceship by win the Teacher in room Project, a contest launched by chairman Ronald Reagan and NASA that got over 11,000 applications. The field was whittled down to 10 finalists and also McAuliffe was ultimately chosen after medical tests and other evaluations.


A 37-year-old mother of two at the moment of the flight, McAuliffe was a high school social studies and also English teacher with 15 year of endure in the classroom. She ended up being an overnight celebrity and also the focus of substantial media attention, together did her family and students in ~ Concord High School. McAuliffe trained for 6 months to sign up with the crew as a payload specialist, and she was to both help with experiment on the space station and also give 2 lessons that would be broadcast to classrooms across the country. Schools about the country tuned into the Challenger’s launch due to her presence on the shuttle.

The two lessons the McAuliffe had actually planned, titled “The Ultimate field Trip" and "Where We've Been, whereby We're Going, Why,” were later recorded top top the International room Station. Her heritage of curiosity, optimism and grace has been generally honored since the explosion; awards, scholarships and also schools every bear she name.

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Christa McAuliffe smiles together George shrub announces the she will certainly be the very first citizen to paris in room on July 19, 1985, in Washington, D.C.

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Christa McAuliffe talks to few of her former students in former of Concord High institution a week prior to she begins astronaut training

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Christa McAuliffe through her family: husband Steven, daughter Caroline and son Scott

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Christa McAuliffe in a T-38 jet trainer

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Christa McAuliffe and crew maintain in a Zero-G Aircraft

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Christa McAuliffe (top) and Barbara Morgan play leapfrog during their zero-gravity room exercises

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Christa McAuliffe (right) and also Barbara Morgan inject a hydroponic solution into a cylinder when in a zero-gravity chamber as exercise for among the experiments planned for the flight

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Christa McAuliffe sitting close to the controls the a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker top top October 16, 1985

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Challenger crew members leave crew headquarters because that their trip to Challenger top top January 28, 1986: (front come back) Christa McAuliffe, Ellison Onizuka and also Gregory Jarvis

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