Thirty years ago today, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds on its journey into space. It was devastating and really impacted Americans. Those of us who were of age can tell you exactly where we were when we heard the news.

NASA’s Day of Remembrance coincides with this anniversary. They are honoring 17 astronauts who lost their lives in space exploration. For those of us who experienced this tragedy in our living rooms, offices and classrooms, we remember as well.


Americans felt invested in this mission as NASA was sending a civilian on this trip. Many of us learned of Christa McAuliffe on the news. How this teacher was so excited to be an actual astronaut. So, we were following this mission closely.

Students throughout the country watched the launch live in their classrooms for this reason. We were never expecting an explosion, but that is what happened. We were immediately left in shock and grief.

President Reagan was to give the State of the Union that evening, but instead he addressed the nation’s grief in an address that is still goosebump worthy. His leadership and compassion still shines 30 years later.


Where were you when you learned about the explosion? Please share your memories.

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