Impact of Challenger explosion felt three decades on

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Three decades have passed since the U.S. space program suffered a tragic setback. It was the explosion of the ‘Challenger’ Space Shuttle.

CGTN’s Sean Callebs spoke with the daughter of one astronaut lost that day.

Impact of Challenger explosion felt three decades on

Impact of Challenger explosion felt three decades on

Three decades have passed since the U.S. space program suffered a tragic setback. It was the explosion of the 'Challenger' Space Shuttle. CGTN's Sean Callebs spoke with the daughter of one astronaut lost that day.
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The now familiar words from NASA’s Mission Control, a little more than one-minute into the flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The plumes of white smoke a clear indication that the worst had happened. For people like Kathie Fulgham –the tragedy is intensely personal.

“I have watched my dad die hundreds of times on tv’s across the nation and across the world -and it is so painful to keep watching it,” Fulgham said.

She is the daughter of Challenger Commander Dick Scobee and was in Florida on that cold January morning in Florida, back in 1986.

“But he was my hero long before he was an astronaut. He was an amazing man,” she said.

It has been bravery and courage that characterizes people from all nations who risk their lives to touch the stars.

The first in-flight space fatality, happened to the former Soviet Union in 1967. Soyuz I slammed into the Earth following re-entry killing cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov when the parachute failed.

In February of 2003 -The U.S. space program suffered another disaster. Seven astronauts died when the Space Shuttle Columbia over the state of Texas during re-entry.

In the aftermath of tragedy – Kathie Fulgham’s family and others wanted their loved ones remembered and established, the Challenger Center. Dozens of learning centers set up from Alaska to the state of Maine.

It is a way to introduce youth to the marvels of space flight.