The Challenger

Ethan M. Irving

To Start With

BOOM, CRASH, BANG! The Challenger exploded into a cloud of white, black, and gray smoke. Bursting into flames, it It was gone. Just smoke. Hundreds of thousands of people watching. Frozen in shock. Trying to process what just happened.

In this article You will learn about The Purpose of the mission, Why/How it Exploded, and How America/NASA Reacted.

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There were 7 astronauts on that ship.

  • Francis R. Scobee (Commander)

  • Michael J. Smith (Pilot)

  • Ronald McNair (Mission Specialist)

  • Elson Onizuka (Mission Specialist)

  • Judith Resnik (Mission Specialist)

  • Greg Jarvis (Payload Specialist)

  • Christa McAuliffe (Payload Specialist)

Now Christa McAuliffe was a teacher. She wanted to her students to have a live lesson from space. That would be cool. The reason they were going to space was to launch a satellite. The mission was called STS-51L. They were all ready for the mission. They were in the air..! For 73 seconds.

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How it Exploded

It was cold that day. The flight had already been delayed a few times because of the weather. The Engineers had warned them about how the O-rings could be effected from the cold, but they were ignored. It was 32 degrees outside. the countdown ended and the were in the air. 73 seconds later they weren’t. The shuttle had disintegrated. America stood in shock. Thinking, what just happened? Clouds of smoke covered the sky. It was horrible.

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How America/NASA React

America stood in shock. Trying to take in all this. Thinking, what just happened? Families were still trying to get out of this endless fog of confusion even months later. One of the lead engineer started having chest pains after the explosion. The next day he died of a heart attack. Lots of sad things happened that day and the next few weeks. NASA didn’t launch again for a while. It was a very sad time.


  • O-ring: A mechanical seal in the form of a ring with a circular cross section, usually made of flexible material
  • Delayed: Delayed is when something gets put off or moved to a later time
CNN: Challenger Disaster remembered

To end with

It was a very sad day for America. Lots of people were sad. I hope you learned. You learned the purpose of the mission, how it exploded, and how America/NASA reacted.I think the next time the Engineers say that it's to cold NASA will listen.