The Space Shuttle Challenger was NASA’s second space shuttle to be put into orbit – following Columbia. Tragically, the Challenger’s tenth mission on January 28, 1986, killed its seven crew members as the Challenger space shuttle broke apart 73 seconds after being launched.
The seven crew members were Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, and Judith Resnik
The deadly launch halted the shuttle launches for two-and-a-half years before resuming in 1988 with Space Shuttle Discovery being launched. The actual Challenger mission was replaced by the Space Shuttle Endeavour which launched in May of 1992.
Challenger was named after HMS Challenger which is a British warship that was the command ship for the Challenger Expedition.
Besides Challenger being the name of the space shuttle mission in the 1980s, it was also name of the 1972’s Apollo 17 lunar module that landed on the moon.