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“Shuttle Explodes,” Concord Monitor, New Hampshire, January 28, 1986

NASA chose high school teacher Christa McAuliffe of Concord, New Hampshire, from more than 11,000 applicants for its new Teacher in Space Program. Her selection drew national attention to the shuttle program, and students nationwide were excited at the prospect of science lessons from space. McAuliffe’s death made the tragedy particularly poignant.

Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress

“Shuttle Explodes,” Concord Monitor, New Hampshire, January 28, 1986

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.