Challenger Center marks anniversary of shuttle explosion

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – People in Chattanooga are remembering the 34th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle explosion.

The country lost five NASA astronauts and two Payload Specialists 73 seconds after launch.

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An investigation later determined that an O-ring failure—-caused by the cold weather, doomed the shuttle before it even left the launch pad.

Astronaut Francis Scobee, whose family members live in Chattanooga, died in that explosion.

At Chattanooga’s Challenger center, they are thinking of this day.

Director Perry Storey tells us “You know it is history. And so we are teaching that part of history, but also I think one of the things that we are trying to do is connect generations with what was going on at that time, how we were exploring space, how we were trying new things.”

In 2019, President Donald Trump signed into law a bill that will create a commemorative 1 dollar coin to honor School teacher Christa McAuliffe.