The Challenger Space Shuttle exploded on January 28, 1986 at 11:40 AM ("The Crew"1986). All seven crew members tragically died in the explosion of their spacecraft during the launch from Kennedy Space Center. The explosion occurred 73 seconds into the flight due to a leak in one of the two solid rocket boosters that ignited the main liquid fuel tank ("The Crew"1986). The astronauts aboard were Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Gregory B. Jarvis, and Sharon Christa McAuliffe ("The Crew" 1986). The crew members of the Challenger represented many different backgrounds in terms of race, gender, geography, and religion, which made this flight one of the most unforgettable tragedies of the 1980's. .
Furthermore, McAuliffe was the first to participate in the teacher in space program which created much media attention. Therefore, the excitement generated by McAuliffe's presence made the shock of the accident more horrific. The hype of this mission made the Challenger accident have a significant impact upon the nation. The space program was the most technological advance in America and the Challenger Accident impacted the nation, socially, economically, and culturally.
Causes for the Explosion.
With the nation in shock, many wanted answers as to why this horrific tragedy happened. NASA was put in the hot spot and was forced to reveal a lot about the mission. The main cause of the explosion rested on two reasons. First, the cold weather on the day of the launch and the failure of the af booster caused the explosion ("Space Shuttle Challenger"2000). Just after lift off there were photographs taken, which showed strong puffs of black smoke coming from the field joint on the right side of the solid rocket booster. As the smoke persisted, there was a swirling flame coming from the side of the solid rocket booster. This was only 64 seconds into the lift off. As the flames grew larger, the Challenger exploded at 64,000 feet ("Launch"2000).