The Challenger

The Challenger was first called STA-099 and it was built to serve as a text vehicle for the space program.
The challenger took off on April 4, 1983. The orbiter launched the first American women named Sally Ride in space on mission STS-7. Challengers service failed America on Jan 26 1986. 73 seconds into mission STS-51-L, a booster failed and caused and explosion that had 7 astronauts die and the vehicle. The explosion was blamed on a gas leak in the right booster module. The crew module was separated from the fireball and free felled 50,000 feet into the sea. They had no parachutes and no way to jettison the hatch. The commander’s name was Francis R.Scobee.


As the challenger took off as a test vehicle for the space program it only took 73 seconds to have a booster fail and cause the 7 astronauts to die. The commander of the mission was Francis R. Scobee. The pilot was Michael J. Smith. The mission specialists were Judith A. Resnik, Ellsion S. Onizuka, Ronald E. Mcnair. The payload specialists were Gregory B. Jarvist, and Sharon Christa Mcauliffe, who was going to be the first teacher to fly in space.
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When the challenger exploded the crowed was stunned. " I was 14 when this happened. It was also my grandmother's 75th birthday. I was in Mr. Radtke's Algebra class when the Principal came over the loudspeaker to tell us what had happened, he sounded like he had been crying. The company that made the faulty O-ring, Morton Thiokol, was the main employer for the town I lived in. It was a tough four years until the next shuttle went up. A local news station filmed our American Government class watching that take-off. It went up and we were all just silent, I think they wanted a reaction but we were all holding our breath, silently willing it to be successful". says Dagny.

What we have learned

After the tragedy of The Challenger, the entire space shuttle was grounded during the investigation and they didn’t continue to fly until there were a lot of technical modifications and NASA's management put stricter regulations regarding control and safety. They resumed on September 28, 1988 with the flight of the shuttle discover. There was a tribute to the loved ones with which they helped form and it was called the Challenger Organization. It provides resources for students, parents, and teachers for educational reasons. They are in living centers in 26 states, Canada, and the UK. It offers a two room stimulator that has a space station with communications, medical, life, and computer science equipment and a mission control room that was patterned after NASA's Johnsons space center and a space lab ready for exploration. It is a non profit learning organization. The group of students that are involved are mainly students and teachers from grade 5-9. They are for that group age mainly because that's when they start to lose interest in learning. Over 400,000 students participate in the center each year. Thousands of students participate in after school, summer and weekend programs at the Challenger Center. It helps the students that are interested in math, science, and technology and to possibly purse a study in it.

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