TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- Leaders from around the state gathered at the Challenger Learning Center on Thursday to pay respects and remember the Challenger crew.
January 28, 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Challenger explosion, 73 seconds after lift off.
This was the 25th mission of the space shuttle program, and was to be the first to take a civilian into orbit. Teacher Christa McAuliffe was chosen of out 11,000 applicants to join the Challenger crew. She spent a year training and was set to give two lessons live from space.
Seven bells rang out at 11:39 a.m., the actual time of the explosion, honoring the six astronauts and one teacher who lost their lives in a quest for exploration and education.
That legacy continues decades later thanks to the more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers across the country.