How the Challenger Disaster Forever Changed America’s Space Program

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US space shuttle Challenger lifts off 28 January 1986 from a launch pad at Kennedy Space Center, 72 seconds before its explosion killing it crew of seven.
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The days ahead of the 1986 Challenger Space launch were an exciting time. For the first time, an ordinary citizen named Christa McAuliffe—a New Hampshire high school social studies teacher—was going to be joining the crew of astronauts.

The morning of January 28, 1986 began with a thrilling launch, but within moments, it was clear that something had gone horribly wrong—on lookers knew that a historic mission had ended before it even began.

This week, the Retro Report documentary team takes us back to the pair of smokey trails in the sky over Cape Canaveral, and the decisions that led to the Challenger disaster, the details of which emerged in a famous investigation that showed huge design and engineering flaws in the NASA Shuttle program.

Bret Sigler, producer and editor at Retro Report, joins The Takeaway to explain.

Watch a video of Retro Report's findings below.