On this, the 32nd anniversary, we remember space shuttle Challenger, and the crew of STS-51L. Godspeed, Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Ronald E. McNair, Gregory B. Jarvis and Sharon Christa McAuliffe.
Today we remember space shuttle Challenger, and the crew of STS-51L. Godspeed, Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Ronald E. McNair, Gregory B. Jarvis and Sharon Christa McAuliffe.
The NASA family lost seven of its own on the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, when a booster engine failed, causing the Shuttle Challenger to break apart just 73 seconds after launch.
In this photo from Jan. 9, 1986, the Challenger crew takes a break during countdown training at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Left to right are Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; and astronauts Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist.
January 27, 1967 — Apollo 1
Grissom • White • Chaffee
January 28, 1986 — Challenger/STS-51L
Scobee • Smith • Resnik • Onizuka
McNair • Jarvis • McAuliffe
February 1, 2003 — Columbia/STS-107
Husband • McCool • Anderson • Brown
Chawla • Clark • Ramon
The Kennedy Media Gallery recently posted these beautiful “tribute” graphics to each orbiter — Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. They are well worth downloading at the large size, so you can see all the patches and details. All five hang in Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
A lovely (or harrowing) picture of the first untethered spacewalk, back in 1984:
At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was further out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured above, was floating free in space. McCandless and fellow NASA astronaut Robert Stewart were the first to experience such an “untethered space walk” during Space Shuttle mission 41-B in 1984. The MMU works by shooting jets of nitrogen and has since been used to help deploy and retrieve satellites. With a mass over 140 kilograms, an MMU is heavy on Earth, but, like everything, is weightless when drifting in orbit. The MMU was replaced with the SAFER backpack propulsion unit.