31 years ago today: where were you when we lost Space Shuttle Challenger?

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On Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members: Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Akron native Judith Resnik, Dick Scobee and Michael Smith.

Many remember where they were on January 28, 1986. The tragedy unfolded on live TV, and the audience watching was particularly young.

Christa McAuliffe was a high-school teacher from New Hampshire; she was set to be the first civilian and teacher in space. NASA had arranged a satellite broadcast of the full mission for students to watch the historic moment in schools across the nation. Akron-native, Judy Resnik, was also on the Challenger.

It was later determined that the explosion was caused by the failure of O-rings in the shuttle’s right solid rocket booster.


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