Every American who lived through the ’80s remembers the Challenger explosion. But what happened to cause the famous national tragedy? How could such a catastrophe happen when NASA so meticulously checks and double checks all the equipment at their disposal?
Even with all the risks, astronauts gladly put their lives on the line for decades in the pursuit of reaching for the stars. The Challenger tragedy was not the first or the last catastrophe to befall NASA. The exploratory organization has not forgotten the sacrifices of the seven crewmembers who died on January 28, 1986: Francis “Dick” Scobee, Mike Smith, Judy Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ron McNair, Greg Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.
Along with the tragic fates of the space shuttle Columbia and the crew of Apollo 1, the Challenger tragedy is a reminder of the dangers of exploration and the limits of human ambition. The details of what happened when the Challenger exploded remain important to this day, even with the shuttle program no longer active.