Network: National Geographic Channel
2017 News & Documentary Emmy Winner
2017 News & Documentary Emmy Nominee
Royal Television Society Nominee
On a cold morning in January, 1986, the world witnessed one of the worst disasters ever to be broadcast on live television — the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. This was meant to be NASA’s big step to making space travel more accessible to private citizens. Besides the astronauts on board was Christa McAulliff, the nation’s first teacher in space. Christa was scheduled to transmit science lessons from space back to classrooms on earth. Watching the shuttle’s launch that day were school children from around the United States. The destruction of the shuttle, and the tragic loss of life, was in many ways the end of innocence for young people in America. With so much discussion today of manned space flight to Mars and beyond, this special episode for National Geographic takes viewers through that tragic day moment by moment, and serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who came before us to make the wonder of space flight possible.