FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Thursday marks the 30 year anniversary of one of the most hyped space missions of the 1980s. One that ended in tragedy. Seven astronauts died, when the space shuttle Challenger took flight.
The Challenger crew members died when the shuttle blew up in the sky during launch on January 28th, 1986. Among them teacher Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first civilian in space.
The astronauts families gathered at Kennedy Space Center to mark the anniversary and a moment of silence was observed in space aboard the iNternationa Space Station.
In the Valley, a memorial to the Challenger astronauts stands at Woodward Park in Fresno. A solemn reminder of the tragedy.
It was later learned the explosion was caused by a failure in the seals on one of the shuttle's rocket boosters.