The Who2 Blog

The Challenger Commission and the 25th Anniversary

Today is the 25th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger exploding after takeoff and killing all seven astronauts on board.

The most famous crew member at the time was probably Christa McAuliffe. She was a high school teacher from New Hampshire, the first of what was called the Teacher in Space Program from NASA.

Also on board: Commander Francis R. Scobee, Pilot Michael J. Smith, Mission Specialists Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka and Ronald E. McNair, and Payload Specialist Gregory B. Jarvis.

McAuliffe was chosen in 1985, and on this day in 1986 the Challenger blew about about 73 seconds after launch. We all saw it on TV, many times, and it was shocking.

To read about the investigation into the accident, read our Who2 loop, The Challenger Commission.

Members of the Challenger Commission included astronauts Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride and physicist Richard Feynman.

To read the official NASA mission summary for Challenger, go here.

And here’s Dan Rather from CBS News, reporting on the Challenger explosion and showing the video:

And here’s President Ronald Reagan, making a televised address to the nation:

To read a summary of the mission and accident, try this Q&A from BBC News.

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