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Challenger Elementary
1 (256) 428-7060   |   
1 (256) 428-7064   |   
13555 Chaney Thompson Rd. SE
Blue Ribbon School

Challenger Shuttle Mission 10: STS-51-L

10th Challenger mission

25th space shuttle mission


Start of Mission: January 28, 1986 at 11:38 am , Kennedy Space Center, Florida

End of Mission: January 28, 1986, 11:39 am, 73 seconds after liftoff (in the air at Kennedy)

Mission duration: 1 minutes, 13 seconds

Distance traveled: 18 miles

Orbits of Earth: 0

Crew Size: 7

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

Astronaut Bios:

Mission Facts:

·         First time a non-government civilian, schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, had flown aboard the space shuttle

·         The Rogers Commission, an investigation team, determined that the cause of the destruction was due to the failure of an O-ring seal on one of the solid rocket booster (SRB).

·         This was the first American orbital mission to involve fatalities

·         After this failure, the space shuttle program was on hiatus for 32 months

·         The mission was delayed for several days due to various issues

·         The State of the Union address by President Reagan was supposed to take place that evening, but he cancelled the address and spoke to the nation about the tragedy instead.


Pre-launch and launch footage:


President Reagan’s Speech (1/28/86):

Challenger Accident Investigation Report: