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On January 28, 1986, the American shuttle orbiter Challenger broke up 73 seconds after liftoff, bringing a devastating end to the spacecraft’s 10th mission.
The disaster claimed the lives of all seven astronauts aboard, including Christa McAuliffe, a teacher from New Hampshire who had been selected to join the mission and teach lessons from space to schoolchildren around the country.
It was later determined that two rubber O-rings, which had been designed to separate the sections of the rocket booster, had failed due to cold temperatures on the morning of the launch. The tragedy and its aftermath received extensive media coverage and prompted NASA to temporarily suspend all shuttle missions.
We ran outside and looked up to see that terrible cloud of white that just split and stopped in the winds aloft……