On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger and its seven-member crew were lost seventy-three seconds after launch when a booster rocket failed and the spacecraft blew up killing everyone on board.

Space Shuttle Challenger crew included Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka, Teacher-in-Space participant Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist Greg Jarvis, mission specialist Judy Resnick, Pilot Mike Smith, commander Dick Scobee, and mission specialist Ron McNair.

(FILE PHOTO) Space Shuttle Challenger Explodes
Getty Images

According to History.com “It's likely that the Challenger's crew survived the initial breakup of the shuttle but lost consciousness due to loss of cabin pressure and probably died due to oxygen deficiency pretty quickly.”

35 years ago at 10:38 Central Time on January 28, 1986, the nation was in shock trying to process what had happened to the Challenger and its crew. The Challenger Shuttle had been launched and landed nine times before it exploded on that Thursday morning.

Do you remember where you were? Like so many people across the U.S. I had the shuttle launch playing as background noise in my living room. I was a young man at the time and remember trying to process what I was seeing on the tube.

All the Network TV stations at the time were scrambling to figure out the extent of the tragedy. It wasn't until some time later that the reality of what had happened really soaked in. To this day, I am sobered by the thought of what horrors those brave crew members experienced in the final seconds of their lives.

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