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The Challenger Disaster Thesis I believe that in 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded due to low temperatures and the faulty design of one of the joints on an SRB solid rocket booster Why was this event unique I believe this event is unique to the 1980s because it was the first time a civilian a school teacher was going into space That fact alone captured the attention of the entire nation After the Challenger crashed the Space Program was revamped to make the safety of the astronauts the key issue The Challenger Originally scheduled to launch at 343 PM Eastern Standard Time on January 22 1986 the Challenger liftoff was rescheduled five times due to bad weather The final date scheduled for the Challengers take off was January 28 1986 at 1138 AM Eastern Standard Time On that morning the temperature outside was 36 degrees Fahrenheit 15 degrees lower than any previous launch The crew consisted of seven people Michael J Smith the pilot Francis R Scobee the commander Judith A Resnik a mission specialist and the second woman to go into space Ellison S Onizuka the second mission specialist Ronald E McNair the third mission specialist Gregory B Jarvis the first payload specialist and Sharon Christa McAuliffe the second payload specialist and the first civilian to go into outer space Sharon McAuliffe was a history teacher in New Hampshire when she applied to the Teacher in Space Program and was selected from more than 11000 applicants to fly aboard the Challenger McAuliffe was scheduled to teach two lessons while on the mission and then tour schools around the country and teach about the space program On the morning of January 28 1986 the skies were clear the air was freezing and the bright sun shone down upon the Challenger Space Shuttle which sat atop launch pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center Well below the lowest temperature any other launch had encountered the officials
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