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Fallen Heroes of Space Exploration: A Memorial (Gallery)

Astronaut Ronald McNair

NASA

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978, Ronald McNair completed a 1-year training and evaluation period in August 1979, qualifying him for assignment as a mission specialist astronaut on Space Shuttle flight crews. Dr. McNair was assigned as a mission specialist on STS 51-L. Dr. McNair died on January 28, 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after launch from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka

NASA

Lieutenant Colonel Onizuka was a mission specialist on STS 51-L which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 11:38:00 EST on January 28, 1986. The STS 51-L crew died on January 28, 1986, after Challenger exploded 1 minute 13 seconds after launch.

Astronaut Judith Resnik

NASA

Dr. Resnik was a mission specialist on STS 51-L, which was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 11:38:00 EST on January 28, 1986. The STS 51-L crew died on January 28, 1986 after Challenger exploded 1 minute and 13 seconds after launch.

Astronaut Michael J. Smith

NASA

Captain Michael J. Smith was assigned as pilot on shuttle mission STS 51-L. He was also assigned as pilot for Space Shuttle Mission 61-N scheduled for launch in the Fall of 1986. Captain Smith died on January 28, 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after launch from the Kennedy Space Center.

Astronaut Francis R. "Dick" Scobee

NASA

Francis R. "Dick" Scobee was spacecraft commander on STS 51-L, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 11:38:00 EST on January 28, 1986. The STS-51L crew died on January 28, 1986 after Challenger exploded 1 minute, 13 seconds after launch.

Christa McAuliffe on KC-135

Keith Meyers of the New York Times

Teacher Christa McAuliffe experiences the "vomit comet."

Flight Training

NASA

STS-51L crewmembers and backup depart Ellington Air Field following brief flights in NASA's T-38 jet trainers. Pictured (L to R): Barbara R. Morgan, Michael J. Smith, an unidentified visitor, Sharon Christa McAuliffe and Francis R. (Dick) Scobee.

STS-51L Flight Crew Emergency Egress Training

NASA

The STS-51L Challenger flight crew receives emergency egress training in the slide wire baskets. They are (L to R) Mission Specialist, Ronald McNair, Payload Specialist, Gregory Jarvis, Teacher in Space Participant, Christa McAuliffe. Directly behind them are Mission Specialist Judy Resnik and Mission Specialist, Ellison Onizuka.

Columbia's STS-107 Crew

The STS-107 crew. Front from left: Rick Husband William McCool. Standing from left: David Brown, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla and Michael Anderson and Ilan Ramon. The entire crew was lost on February 1, 2003, during re-entry when Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over northern Texas.

Astronaut Rick D. Husband

NASA

Astronaut Rick D. Husband, commander of shuttle mission mission STS-107, shown in January 1999. He perished on February 1, 2003, when Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over northern Texas.

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