Remembering the Challenger crew 34 years later

National News

(CNN Newsource/WNCN) – It’s been 34 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after takeoff from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Tuesday marks the somber anniversary of that day-Jan. 28, 1986 when Challenger lifted off and exploded 73 seconds into flight.

All seven crew members were killed, including Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space.

Fellow crew member and Beaufort, North Carolina native, Michael J. Smith, also perished. Smith was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and was the pilot of the Challenger. The mission was his first space flight.

The explosion was a result of a rocket booster failure which ignited the fuel tank.

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