Challenger Middle School was named in honor of the Challenger Space Shuttle Crew who perished in an accident upon launch. On January 28, 1986, the morning was colder than normal which caused the O-ring on the solid rocket booster to fail allowing vapor to leak which lead to the disintegration of the shuttle. On board that day was the First Teacher in Space, Christa McAuliffe. We honor the crew members each year with a memorial in January.
Challenger Space Space Crew - Mission STS 51-L
These astronauts who trained and worked together represented the hope and diversity of America.
Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, Commander
Michael J. Smith, Pilot
Ronald E. McNair, Mission Specialist
Ellison S. Onizuka, Mission Specialist
Judith A. Resnik, Mission Specialist
Gregory B. Jarvis, Payload Specialist
Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist - First Teacher in Space
September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986
First Teacher in Space
Mrs. McAuliffe was a social studies teacher from Concord, NH who chosen by NASA out of thousands of applicants to develop lessons and teach all of us about space. She considered it to be The Ultimate Field Trip. In order to be part of the crew, she trained for 114 hours just like all the other astronauts. She loved to teach and her motto was “I touch the future, I teach” which inspired our school motto "We touch the future: we teach."
The Lost Lesson Plans - Created by Christa McAuliffe, Barbara Morgan, Bob Mayfield, and the Challenger Team - Project Editor, Jerry Woodfill
Teacher Reaches Space Two Decades Later
Barbara Morgan, an elementary teacher who trained as a backup astronaut for Christa McAuliffe under the Teacher in Space Project, finally flew in space for twelve days in August 2007 on the orbiter Endeavour during Mission STS-118.
Pre-Flight interview with Barbara Morgan covering her role then and now as an Educator Astronaut
While on the 8th Grade East Coast Trip, students usually visit the Arlington National Cemetery. They place a wreath at the memorial to honor those astronauts who perished during the accident.
Opportunity rover successfully landed on the planet Mars on January 25, 2004. The area in the vast flatland called Meridiani Planum, where Opportunity landed, will be called the Challenger Memorial Station in honor of the lost Challenger crew.
For more information about the accident, please visit the links posted below:
President Ronald Reagan's Address to the Nation
"The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave." 1/28/1986