On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger launched with America’s first civilian to be sent into space, Christa McAuliffe. McAuliffe was chosen from a list of over 11,000 applicants for NASA’s Teacher in Space Project, aimed at sending civilian educators into orbit to later relate their experience as astronauts to their terrestrial students. Tragically, Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds into her ascent, killing all seven crewmembers, including McAuliffe.
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