after launch from the Kennedy Space Center on January 28, 1986, the Challenger 7 (STS-51L) was destroyed in an explosion caused by a leak at the joint of one of two Solid Rocket Boosters that ignited the main liquid fuel tank.
crew members of the Challenger, represented a cross section of the American population in terms of race, gender, geography, background, and religion.
Spacecraft Commander Francis R. “Dick” Scobee: son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis W. Scobee. He was born on May 19, 1939, in Cle Elum, Washington.
Pilot Michael J. Smith: born on April 30, 1945 in Beaufort, North Carolina.
Mission Specialist Judith A. Resnik: born on April 5, 1949 in Akron, Ohio.
Mission Specialist Ronald E. McNair: born on October 21, 1950 in Lake City, South Carolina.
Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizukaonizuka: born in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, on June 24, 1946, of Japanese-American parents.
Payload Specialist Gregory B. Jarvis: born on August 24, 1944 in Detroit, Michigan.
Sharon Christa McAuliffe: the first teacher to fly in space. McAuliffe was born on September 2, 1948, the oldest child of Edward and Grace Corrigan.