On January 28, 1986, a day that was supposed to be filled with excitement and exploration, suddenly turned into a day filled with tragedy and sadness. The space shuttle Challenger was supposed to carry a seven member crew into orbit with one unique member along for this particular mission. Christa McAuliffe was supposed to be the first teacher to go into space as a member of the Teacher in Space Project. Due to this occasion, the media coverage and the number of viewers of this mission was extensive, particularly in schools across the nation. The Challenger lifted off shortly after 11:30 A.M., but tragically only seventy three seconds after takeoff it exploded sending debris and the seven crew members back to earth and into the Atlantic
On the morning of Janurary 28th 1986, the world witnessed in shock and horror what was known as the Challenger disaster as the space shuttle exploded only 73 seconds after its launch, killing all seven crew members onboard including one teacher Christa McAuliffe. Approximately 17 percent of Americans watched the live broadcast of this launch, many of them schoolchildren including those from McAuliffe’s school. From this grave moment emerged an exigency that demands immediate action by the president. Later on that same day, President Ronald Reagan delivered his Challenger address to the nation.
Today, ‘astronaut’ is a common career heard when children are asked what they want to be when they grow up. However, this was not the case in the early 20th century or even in the 1950s. The reason for this change was the space race, an extension of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States for superiority of space technology. It all started in October 1957 when Russia launched Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite, into orbit. The launch of Sputnik shocked the American public and brought about the beginnings of the space age, eventually leading to the founding of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the launch of Explorer I, and finally a man on the moon. Although the moon landing ended the space race,
Within his address, Reagan expresses his condolences to the families of the crew and reminds everyone that “we’re still pioneers” despite that “we’ve grown used to the idea of space.” Notably, he spoke to
On October 4th, 1957 the simple action of launching a beachball-sized hunk of metal into our orbit, reshaped the lives of people in the United States and across the world for the next years to come. This small ball of metal was Sputnik, a Soviet satellite with a radio transmitter inside letting out a small “beeping” sound. This object, as unsophisticated as it was, had the power to set the entire country into panic. To US officials this action not only made it clear that the Soviet superpower of Russia was more technologically advanced, but for all we knew they could be putting nuclear warfare into space. To the US this thought was unbearable, and because of this it would go on to set off a race of the century, the Space Race. A race to put technology into space, a race that would change American life at home and in foreign policy. From changes within the school system, to the Red Scare, life would be changed drastically in the years to come, not only in the U.S, but in Russia as well.
This flight is still a mystery today. The crew included the captain, Mike J. Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Francis "Dick" Scobee, and Ronald McNair. McAuliffe was the first teacher to get the chance to go to space. All of the missions took placement in The United States Of America and either launched off from The Kennedy Space Center or The Edwards Air Force
NASA wanted to find an "ordinary person," a gifted teacher who could communicate with students while in orbit. McAuliffe became one of more than 11,000 applicants. President Reagan said it would also remind Americans of the important role that teachers and education serve in their country.
After that, Alan Shepard is chosen to be the first man in space and he perfectly landing in the ocean at the end of his space travel. Then, the other six Astronauts lobbed into space one by one, and all of them are eventually landed safely. Hence, the press and media treat them as American Heroes despite their mistakes, such as the Gus Grissom mistakenly pops the top off the capsule at the wrong time. As the result, NASA became the topic of focus for the people all over the country, which spurred by the government’s propaganda and local media reporting. Meanwhile, Edwards Air Force Base is working on the cultivation of astronauts and development of the rocket planes even the public is not paying attention to them. In particular, the legendary
On January 28th 1986 the space shuttle Challenger was set to be sent into space with teacher Christa McAuliffe from New Hampshire as part of its crew. It was colder than normal on that day and engineers from NASA were concerned about possible failure of the O rings of the shuttle. However, their supervisors ignored them and let the shuttle embark on schedule. As a result the challenger exploded before it even exited the atmosphere
Commander Dick Scobee was on his second flight to space. His first flight was with Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984, where he was the pilot. (Greene, 2017). Pilot, Michael Smith was on his first mission to space. He was also scheduled to pilot another mission later in 1986. (NASA, 2003) Mission Specialist, Ellison Onizuka, was on his second mission to space. He first served as a payload specialist on Space Shuttle Discovery in 1985. (NASA, 2007) Mission Specialist, Ronald McNair, was on his second flight to space. His first mission was as a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. (NASA, 2003) Mission Specialist, Judy Resnik, was on her second mission to space. She was a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Discovery in 1984. (NASA, 2003) Payload Specialist, Gregory Jarvis, was also on his first flight to space. Teacher in Space Participant, Sharon “Christa” McAuliffe, was a school teacher that had been selected by NASA to participate in the Teacher in Space program with the intent on reviving the interest of space travel in children across the United States. This was set to be her first mission. (NASA, 2007) The entire crew lost their lives during the shuttle accident
January 28, 1986 was meant to be a day of joy and happiness, but turned into one of the most devastating events in history. The Challenger’s lift off was scheduled for January 22nd at Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral, Florida), but was delayed mainly because of weather conditions. It was delayed for several days until January 28th. The weather conditions were still miserable, but NASA only detained it two additional hours. The crew was patiently waiting for departure. Sharon Christa McAuliffe was going to be the first teacher in space. Ellison S.
With seven ‒ novice as well as seasoned ‒ astronauts on board, they were going to space to deploy a satellite “into orbit to observe Halley’s comet”(“The Space Shuttle Challenger Accident” 256). The first affirmation of a problem was gray smoke, this was detected 678 seconds into flight. Shortly after the smoke there was a small flame and “at 73 seconds, the Challenger reached an altitude of 46,000 feet and exploded”(“The Space Shuttle Challenger Accident” 256). That evening, President Ronald Reagan said: “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them this morning as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye”(“The Space Shuttle Challenger Accident” 256). Five months later, in June 1986, it was conjectured “that a fuel leak through faulty rubber O-rings that sealed joint sections of the rocket booster caused the accident”(“The Space Shuttle Challenger Accident”
Once again the public quickly licked their wounds, and the great sorrow soon became great anger. Leaders at NASA’s Launch Decision Team came under fire once the word surfaced that the launch was against protocol. The fact that the Challenger launch was broadcasted around the world because of the Teacher in Space initiative did not play to NASA’s favor (Howell). With the loss of Challenger came with the loss of support for NASA. Slowly, NASA’s budget was diminished from its Apollo days. Although now NASA had to continue the shuttle program with the loss of one shuttle, the pending construction of the International Space Station, and the construction of three more space shuttles. Along with this, the Teacher in Space program was postponed due
It was a chilly morning on January 28, 1986 when Lori Bockhorst went to school at Londonderry High School. On what would normally be an ordinary day in the life of the students, something exciting was about to occur. This day was a special day, because the space shuttle was expected to be launched. Though launches were still rare, Lori had seen them before, and they had always fascinated her. This time, however, was different. On the crew would be a teacher from Concord, New Hampshire; a city a few miles down from where Lori lived. The teacher, Christa McAuliffe, had won a nationwide contest over 11,000 other teachers that granted her the right to this amazing experience. She would be teaching lessons to her students from space, a feat never before achieved. (History.com Staff) After undergoing months of training, she would be the first ordinary citizen that had gone into space. Everyone was excited with the fact that normal people like them were doing the seemingly impossible. Many of the
On 1st of February, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia exploded when it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere after finished a 16 days mission in space. All seven astronauts were dead because of this incident. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had stopped the space shuttle program for more than two years to investigate this tragedy. In the 16 days period, the astronauts did approximately 80 experiments on different categories, for example, life science and material science . An investigation later has found out that the disaster was caused by a problem on the day that took off on 16th of January.