Challenger Explosion Kills Texas Astronaut and Her Colleagues

This day in Texas History:

Challenger Explosion Kills Texas Astronaut and Her Colleagues

January 28, 1986

On this day in 1986, the space shuttle Challenger (Mission STS-51-L) exploded shortly after takeoff.

Challenger ExplosionSeven American astronauts were killed, including Texas resident Judith Arlene Resnik. She was the second American woman astronaut. She had taken her first space flight in August 1984 aboard the orbiter Discovery.

Crew members killed in the explosion included Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Greg Jarvis and Christa McAuliff, a teacher from New Hampshire.

An O-ring seal in the right solid rocket booster failed at lift-off, causing a breach and allowing pressurized hot gas to escape.