35 years ago today the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff

Space Science

(Original Caption) Five astronauts and two payload specialists make up the STS 51-L crew, scheduled to fly aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in January of 1986. Crewmembers are (left to right, front row) astronauts Michael J. Smith, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee and Ronald E. McNair; and Ellison S. Onizuka, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis and Judith A. Resnik. McAuliffe and Jarvis are payload specialists, representing the Teacher in Space Project and Hughes Co., respectively.

MYSTERY WIRE (AP) — NASA’s space shuttle Challenger launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida on its 10th mission on Jan. 28, 1986 only to explode 73 seconds later.

The explosion claimed the lives of all seven people onboard: Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Mike Smith, Ellison Onizuka and Christa McAuliffe.

McAuliffe was due to be the first teacher in space. The New Hampshire woman had been selected to join the mission and teach lessons from space to children around the country.

An investigation found that the two rubber O-rings, which were designed to separate sections of the rocket booster, failed due to weather. The shuttle launched on a cold Florida morning.

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