Readers Remember Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster 25 Years Later

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave,” President Ronald Reagan told the nation 25 years ago following the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, just 73 seconds into its launch. “The Challenger crew was…

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave,” President Ronald Reagan told the nation 25 years ago following the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, just 73 seconds into its launch. “The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.”

Over two decades later, the memory of the mission’s catastrophic end–and the jarring scene, witnessed by so many students and citizens, of the shuttle’s explosion–remains present and painful.

NASA held a memorial at the launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida to honor the Challenger’s seven crew members, including schoolteacher and citien Christa McAuliffe, who perished in the space shuttle’s explosion, as well as the “fallen explorers” on board the Apollo 1 and Columbia.

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