The day the space dream died

Thirty years ago, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven astronauts on board, and shocking a national space dream back into reality

The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after lifting off from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 28, 1986. All seven crew members died in the explosion, which was blamed on faul
(Image credit: The Associated Press)

By 1986, Americans had grown used to the miraculous idea that men and women could soar into space. The NASA space program was a point of national pride, the rare government agency that provided good news and exhibited America's technological prowess.

But such blind confidence came to a tragic end on Jan. 28, 1986.

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