RIP Challenger. Remembering the explosion, 30 years later #NASA

RIP to all seven crew members aboard the Challenger, which devastatingly blew up 30 years ago today:

(CNN)Much like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, or the morning of September 11, 2001, most Americans remember where they were when they heard the news of the Challenger disaster.

It was NASA’s first in-flight tragedy. Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986. Shortly after liftoff, the space shuttle’s external fuel tank collapsed, causing what looked like an explosion, and the shuttle broke apart and fell.

CNN dives into How the Challenger Disaster changed NASA.

and NPR also remembers the disaster: 30 years after explosion, engineer still blames himself.

 

NASA day of remembrance

Fallen astronauts and NASA personnel are pictured on a board displayed in front of the Space Mirror Memorial, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, during NASA's Day of Remembrance. (PHOTO/Jon Shaban, Staff)

Fallen astronauts and NASA personnel are pictured on a board displayed in front of the Space Mirror Memorial, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, during NASA’s Day of Remembrance. (PHOTO/Jon Shaban, Staff)

Hearts are heavy on the Space Coast as NASA marks the most somber week in its history Wednesday.

NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance began with a ceremony in front of the Space Mirror Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex containing the names of the 17 astronauts lost in the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia disasters.

  • Apollo 1 — On Jan. 27, 1967 a deadly launch pad fire killed the crew’s three astronauts.
  • Challenger — On Jan. 28, 1986, space shuttle Challenger exploded seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members on board.
  • Columbia — On February 2, 2003, the seven-member Columbia crew was lost when the shuttle disintegrated returning from orbit.

Wednesday morning, those 17 astronauts, along with pioneering test pilots who paved the way for space travel, were remembered as a wreath was placed at the foot of the memorial.

The official Day of Remembrance website.