Space Shuttle Challenger (Designated OV-099) was the second shuttle to become operational with it's first flight being STS-6 on April 4rd 1983. Challenger was orginally purchased to be a structural testbed for NASA, able to fit parts and payloads without risking any damage to a flight worthy orbiter. When NASA chose to expand their shuttle fleet due to Challenger not being far along in production of the airframe it was deemed cheaper to convert it to a flight ready orbiter instead of modifying an existing test bed. Challenger flew 9 missions successfully including the first night launch and landings at Kennedy Space Center. Challenger was however destoryed 73 seconds into it's 10th mission, a faulty seal on the right solid rocket booster, leaking hot gasses around the orbiter that comprimised the intregrity of the shuttle, aerodynamic forces tore the shuttle apart leading the the death of all 7 aboard. Their names are listed below in remebrence and respect.
Francis R. Scobee, Commander
Michael J. Smith, Pilot
Ronald McNair, Mission Specialist
Ellison Onizuka, Mission Specialist
Judith Resnik, Mission Specialist
Gregory Jarvis, Payload Specialist
Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist, Teacher