Watch CBS News

28 Years Ago: Remembering The Challenger Disaster

CAPE CANAVERAL (CBSMiami) — Today marks 28 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.

The accident on Jan. 28, 1986 — just 73 seconds into flight — killed all seven on board, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

The Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida, after booster engine failed. People all over the country watched the disaster live because the shuttle was carrying Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space.

(FILE PHOTO)  Space Shuttle Challenger Astronauts
(FILE PHOTO) Space Shuttle Challenger crew members gather for an official portrait November 11, 1985 in an unspecified location. (Back, L-R) Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka, Teacher-in-Space participant Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist Greg Jarvis and mission specialist Judy Resnick. (Front, L-R) Pilot Mike Smith, commander Dick Scobee and mission specialist Ron McNair. The Challenger and its seven member crew were lost seventy three seconds after launch when a booster rocket failed. (Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

In addition to McAuliffe, crew members included Commander Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and co-pilot Michael J. Smith.

NASA's first Teacher in Space Project was designed to inspire students, honor teachers, and spur interest in mathematics, science and space exploration.

NASA will be honoring the Challenger tragedy during a Remembrance Day event on Friday, Jan. 31 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral.

Also being remembered that day, the Apollo 1 and shuttle Columbia tragedies

The Apollo 1 tragedy took place on January 27, 1967 when three astronauts died in a simulation fire ahead of the first manned mission of the Apollo lunar landing program.

On February 1, 2003, the seven-member crew of the Shuttle Columbia died when the shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry.

During the Rememberance Day event for all three disasters, Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana and Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director Janet Petro will present a wreath at The Astronaut's Memorial Foundation's Space Mirror. The Visitor Complex will provide flowers for visitors to place at the memorial.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.