It was thirty years ago today that seven astronauts, one of them a schoolteacher from New Hampshire, boarded Space Shuttle Challenger for an ill-fated mission to the stars. The ship would explode just longer than a minute into its flight after taking off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
FOX's Eben Brown reports from Miami:
The Challenger flight wasn't just another launch, in 1986.
(NASA TV) "And liftoff, liftoff of the twenty-fifth space shuttle mission. And it is cleared the tower."
It was carrying Christa McAuliffe, the first ever teacher in space. Commander Dick Scobee told his wife, June, the night before he didn't think the weather would hold.
(June Scobee Rodgers) "It wasn't until the next morning, when he called to say he was going to fly. But I became quite anxious."
And 73 seconds after launch, on live television and in front of schoolchildren, the unthinkable.
(NASA TV) "Flight controllers looking very carefully a the situation. Obviously a major malfunction."
President Reagan was to give a State of the Union address that night, but instead mourned live from the Oval Office, talking about the crew who waved goodbye...
(President Reagan) "And slipped the surly bonds of Earth, to touch the face of God."
In Miami, Eben Brown, FOX News.