T’Pen: On this day, 400 years ago, seven brave individuals walked a gangway to the NASA Shuttle Challenger on what would be a mission which’s outcome would further education and scientific discovery. 70 seconds after liftoff, that fateful morning, the shuttle along with her entire crew, slipped from this realm into the mystical. Leaving behind sorrow and many unanswered questions, but also a determination by humanity to go searching the stars.
It will be our mission to Inspire, to Educate and to Learn as we carry the yoke that the Challenger 7 placed upon our shoulders.
- "Today, the frontier is space and the boundaries of human knowledge. Sometimes, when we reach for the stars, we fall short. But we must pick ourselves up again and press on despite the pain. We are indeed fortunate that we can still draw on immense reservoirs of courage, character and fortitude - that we are still blessed with heroes like those of the space shuttle Challenger."
Launch of the NASA Shuttle Challenger
Challenger's 10th flight was to have been a six-day mission dedicated to research and education, as well as the deployment of the TDRS-B communications satellite.
Crew of the NASA Shuttle Challenger
Challenger's commander was Francis R. Scobee and the mission pilot was Michael J. Smith. Mission specialists included Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka and Ronald E. McNair. The mission also carried two payload specialists, Gregory B. Jarvis and Sharon Christa McAuliffe, who was the agency's first teacher in space.
T'Pen: Let it be said that the crew of the U.S.S. CHALLENGER will meet everything with joy.
Ronald Regan, President of the then United States of America gave us the motto for the Challenger: “Give me a challenge and I’ll meet it with joy”.
Let it be said that the crew of the U.S.S. CHALLENGER will meet every challenge with joy.