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Painting of Challenger Crew, Brumidi Corridors, U.S. Capitol, by Charles Schmidt, 1987

Mission Specialist Ellison Onizuka, Payload Specialist Gregory Jarvis, Pilot Michael Smith; Mission Specialist Judith Resnik, Teacher Christa McAuliffe, Mission Specialist Ronald McNair; Commander Dick Scobee.

U.S. Senate Collection

Painting of Challenger Crew, Brumidi Corridors, U.S. Capitol, by Charles Schmidt, 1987

Risk in Exploration

Space exploration affords numerous benefits, but there are inherent risks. On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff, killing all seven crew members. This was neither the first nor the last such tragedy. After a congressional investigation of the Challenger disaster, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) changed its procedures and the U.S. reaffirmed its commitment to space exploration.