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STS-51-L

Space Shuttle Challenger / OV-099

Lockheed Space Operations Company

Launch Status
Failure

Crew


Dick Scobee

Dick Scobee

  • Birthday: 05/19/1939
  • Role: Commander
  • Nationality: American
  • First Flight: 04/06/1984
  • Last Flight: 01/28/1986

Francis Richard Scobee was an American pilot and astronaut. He was killed commanding the Space Shuttle Challenger, which suffered catastrophic booster failure during launch of the STS-51-L mission.

Michael J. Smith

Michael J. Smith

  • Birthday: 04/30/1945
  • Role: Pilot
  • Nationality: American
  • First Flight: 01/28/1986
  • Last Flight: 01/28/1986

Michael John Smith was an American astronaut—pilot of the Space Shuttle Challenger when it was destroyed during the STS-51-L mission. All seven crew members died.

Christa McAuliffe

Christa McAuliffe

  • Birthday: 09/02/1948
  • Role: Payload Specialist
  • Nationality: American
  • First Flight: 01/28/1986
  • Last Flight: 01/28/1986

Sharon Christa McAuliffe (born Sharon Christa Corrigan; September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986) was an American teacher and astronaut from Concord, New Hampshire and one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Gregory Jarvis

Gregory Jarvis

  • Birthday: 08/24/1944
  • Role: Payload Specialist
  • Nationality: American
  • First Flight: 01/28/1986
  • Last Flight: 01/28/1986

Gregory Bruce Jarvis (August 24, 1944 – January 28, 1986) was an American engineer who died during the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L, where he was serving as Payload Specialist for Hughes Aircraft.

Ellison Onizuka

Ellison Onizuka

  • Birthday: 06/24/1946
  • Role: Mission Specialist
  • Nationality: American
  • First Flight: 01/24/1985
  • Last Flight: 01/28/1986

Ellison Shoji Onizuka (鬼塚 承次 Onizuka Shōji) was an American astronaut from Kealakekua, Hawaii, who successfully flew into space with the Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-51-C. He died in the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger, on which he was serving as Mission Specialist for mission STS-51-L. He was the first Asian American and the first person of Japanese ancestry to reach space.

Judith Resnik

Judith Resnik

  • Birthday: 04/05/1949
  • Role: Mission Specialist
  • Nationality: American
  • First Flight: 08/30/1984
  • Last Flight: 01/28/1986

Judith Arlene Resnik was an American electrical engineer, software engineer, biomedical engineer, pilot and NASA astronaut, who died when the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed during the launch of mission STS-51-L.

Recognised while still a child for her “intellectual brilliance”,[1] Resnik went on to work for RCA as an engineer on NASA missile and radar projects, was a senior systems engineer for Xerox Corporation, and published research on special purpose integrated circuitry, before she was recruited by NASA to the astronaut program as a mission specialist at age 28. While training on the astronaut program, she developed software and operating procedures for NASA missions.[2] She was also a pilot and made research contributions to biomedical engineering, as a research fellow of biomedical engineering at the National Institutes of Health.

Initially planning to be a concert pianist, Resnik had turned down a place at the Juilliard School of Music, choosing instead to study mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University after being one of only 16 girls in the United States to have attained 100% scores in her SAT exams at the time. She went on to graduate from Carnegie Institute of Technology in electrical engineering, before graduating with a Ph.D. magna cum laude in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland.

Resnik was the second American woman in space, and the fourth woman in space worldwide, logging 145 hours in orbit. She was also the first Jewish American in space, and the first Jewish woman of any nationality in space. The IEEE Judith Resnik Award for space engineering is named in her honor.

Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair

  • Birthday: 10/21/1950
  • Role: Mission Specialist
  • Nationality: American
  • First Flight: 02/03/1984
  • Last Flight: 01/28/1986

Ronald Erwin McNair was an American physicist and NASA astronaut. He died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L, in which he was serving as one of three mission specialists. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl, and two children. His kids were Joy Charey Mcnair (Daughter) and Reginald Ervin Mcnair (son).

Mission


STS-51-L

  • Type: Human Exploration
  • Orbit: Low Earth Orbit
  • Launch Cost: $450,000,000

The tenth mission for Challenger, STS-51-L was scheduled to deploy the second in a series of Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, carry out the first flight of the Shuttle-Pointed Tool for Astronomy (SPARTAN-203) / Halley’s Comet Experiment Deployable in order to observe Halley’s Comet, and carry out several lessons from space as part of the Teacher in Space Project and Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP).

STS-51-L

Location


Launch Complex 39B

Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

Launch Complex 39B has witnessed the launch of 58 rockets, including 57 orbital launch attempts, while Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA, has been the site for 227 rocket launches.

Launch Complex 39B

Rocket


National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space Shuttle

The Space Shuttle is a retired, partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated from 1981 to 2011 by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of the Space Shuttle program. Its official program name was Space Transportation System (STS). Five complete Space Shuttle orbiter vehicles were built and flown on a total of 135 missions from 1981 to 2011.

Space Shuttle

Agency


Lockheed Space Operations Company

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