Quote: “I will go around the space shuttle and give a guided tour of the major areas and describe what is done in each area. This will be called The Ultimate Field Trip.”

―Christa McAuliffe

NASA Space Shuttle Challenger January 28th 1986

On January 28th, 1986 a manned space shuttle called the orbiter Challenger broke and exploded mid air at just 73 seconds after lift-off. In the space shuttle were 7 astronauts, one of which was a teacher, Christa McAuliffe, who earned a spot and had been selected to be part of NASA's Teacher in Space Program. She was approved to join the journey after months of training and was going to be the first ordinary citizen to travel into space. There were concerns about the shuttle's two rubber O-rings that separate sections of the rocket boosters, making it potentially vulnerable to an accident, given the cold, low temperatures in Cape Canaveral, Florida. However, not much importance was given to the concern and they rushed the decision because it had already been delayed 6 days. Watching from the ground were hundreds of people, among them families of the astronauts. Moreover thousands tuned in to watch the lift-off via television. The shuttle lifted off at 11:39am and 73 seconds later exploded and exploded, making its way down to the Atlantic Ocean. The families among other audience stared at it in disbelief for a few seconds after which an announcer via microphone confirmed the traumatising news. All 7 crew were killed and it was considered a major failure on NASA's part and the shuttle program was put on hold.