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Challenger Crew: Commander Francis R. Scobee

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 16:55:37-05

January 28th, 2016 marks the 30 year anniversary since the Challenger explosion. Watch WTXL ABC 27 every night at 6pm as we profile the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Tune in on January 28th for a special coverage of Lessons Learned from Challenger. 

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) --  Lt. Col. Francis "Dick" Scobee, a decorated Air Force Pilot, served as the Commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28th, 1986. 

Originally from Cle Elum, Washington, Lt. Col. Scobee's love for flying took shape in 1957 when he enlisted in the United States Air Force. As a test pilot for the Air Force, Scobee flew more than 45 different types of aircraft logging over 6,500 hours of flight time.

In 1978, Scobee entered the NASA Astronaut Program and in 1984 as the Pilot of the Challenger's 5th orbital flight, Scobee was a part of a team on a seven day mission to retrieve and repair a solar satellite.  In 1986 Lt. Col. Scobee was assigned as Commander for the Challenger Mission STS 51-L.

Only 73 seconds into flight, Challenger was destroyed. However, Commander Scobee's legacy lives on. In 2004, Commander Scobee was Posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

WTXL ABC 27 and the Challenger Learning Center honor Lt. Col. Francis "Dick" Scobee and will forever remember his contribution to the exploration of space.