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Space Shuttle Challenger facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
S83-35803 (cropped)
Challenger in orbit in 1983, during STS-7

Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-099) was the second space shuttle used by NASA to fly into outer space. The shuttle broke up 73 seconds after take-off from Cape Canaveral on 28 January 1986. All seven astronauts who were on it at the time were killed. The crash happened because a rubber tube called an o-ring did not expand to fill a gap in one of the booster rockets, due to cold weather.

The Challenger was named after a Royal Navy ship which explored the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans from 1872 to 1876. Challenger was also the name of the Apollo 17 Lunar Excursion Module.


Challenger flight 51-l crew
Challenger astronauts


# Date Designation Launch pad Landing location Notes
1 04.April.1983 STS-6 39-A Edwards Air Force Base First Shuttle Space Walk
2 18 June 1983 STS-7 39-A Edwards Air Force Base First U.S. Woman in Space
3 30 August 1983 STS-8 39-A Edwards Air Force Base First Night Launch and Landing
4 03 February 1984 STS-41-B 39-A Kennedy Space Center First KSC Landing
5 06 April 1984 STS-41-C 39-A Edwards Air Force Base First on-orbit spacecraft repair.
6 05 October 84 STS-41-G 39-A Kennedy Space Center Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications-3.
7 29 April 1985 STS-51-B 39-A Edwards Air Force Base Spacelab-3
8 29 July 1985 STS-51-F 39-A Edwards Air Force Base Spacelab-2
9 30 October 1985 STS-61-A 39-A Edwards Air Force Base D-1 Spacelab Mission (First German Dedicated Spacelab)
10 28 January 1986 STS-51-L 39-B Did not land(Planned to land at Kennedy Space Center) TDRS-2; SPARTAN-203 Satellites. Shuttle destroyed after liftoff & all seven astronauts on board died.

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