The Challenger Disaster Anniversary Twenty years ago -- on Jan. 28, 1986 -- the Space Shuttle Challenger blew apart just 73 seconds after launch. All seven astronauts aboard died when a design flaw in the solid-rocket boosters led to the explosion of the external liquid fuel tank. At left, the Challenger lifts off on its fateful flight.
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Special Series

The Challenger Disaster Anniversary

Twenty years ago -- on Jan. 28, 1986 -- the Shuttle Challenger blew up just 73 seconds after launch.