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51-L [Flight # 25] 28 January 1986 Challenger [10]

    Francis R. Scobee, Commander
    Michael J. Smith, Pilot
    Judith A. Resnik, Mission Specialist 1
    Ellison S. Onizuka, Mission Specialist 2
    Ronald E. McNair, Mission Specialist 3
    Gregory B. Jarvis, Payload Specialist 1
    Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist 2

    Pad: 39-B [1]
    Date: 28 January 1986
    Time: 16:38:00 UTC

    Altitude: 46,000 feet (150 nm planned)
    Inclination: 28.5 degrees (planned)
    Orbits: 0
    Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds
    Distance: 18 miles

    None (Kennedy Space Center landing was planned)

An explosion 73 seconds after liftoff claimed both crew and vehicle. Cause of the explosion was determined to be an O-ring failure in the right solid rocket booster. Cold weather was a contributing factor.

Challenger explosion

(credit - NASA)


Audio from Mission Control

(credit - NASA)

"Challenger, go with throttle-up" - A memorial page

Christa McAuliffe was a school teacher, and was to do live telecasts from space. She had been selected as the prime candidate for NASA's Teacher in Space Project. Her backup was Barbara R. Morgan, a teacher from Idaho.

  crew.jpg (24935 bytes)
Credit - NASA
(click to enlarge)
Back row (l to r)
Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik
Front row (l to r)
Michael Smith, Francis Scobee, Ronald McNair

Archived NASA mission page for 51-L


Page last modified: 08 April 2024 16:03:42.