Monday Marks 33 Years Since Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

On Jan. 28, 1986, the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida

What to Know

  • On Jan. 28, 1986, the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, killing all seven crew members

Monday marks the 33-year anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

On Jan. 28, 1986, the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, killing all seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

The Challenger dead also include commander Dick Scobee, pilot Michael Smith, astronauts Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka and Gregory Jarvis.

Unusually cold weather that morning left Challenger's booster rockets with stiff O-ring seals; a leak in the right booster doomed the ship.

McAuliffe was poised to become the first teacher in space. McAuliffe's backup, Barbara Morgan, a schoolteacher from Idaho, rocketed into orbit in 2007 aboard Endeavour as a fully trained astronaut.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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