When? The event occured on January 28, 1986.
Where? The event happened in NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Who? Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis (Astronauts) and Christa McAuliffe (Teacher) were all on board the ship.
What? During takeoff, an o-ring on the right rocket booster malfunctioned and caused the ship to explode seventy three seconds after departing.
Why? The o-ring on the right rocket booster failed to seal a joint due to cold weather allowing pressurized gas to ignite and destroy the gas tank.
How? After the o-ring malfunctioned, the pressurized gas was released and eventually ignited. The flames were adjacent to the external gas tank causing structural failure and an explosion.
Impact- This disaster had a large impact on society and the space program. Many people lost faith in NASA and this damaged our reputation in other countries. People began to wonder if our technological advancements had surpassed our ability to control them. NASA basically suspended all space missions for three years and began to take extra caution in their programs. A civilian did not enter space for another twenty years.
Changes in Society- Millions of children and citizens were watching the event live as it unfolded. President Reagan addressed the disaster in a speech talking about how things like this happen in discovery and exploration, mainly addressing the nation's youth. It implemented fear and distrust into the society about space exploration. NASA's procedures and actions were changed greatly to insure safety.
Meaningful Event- This is such an important part of history because space travel is such a large part of scientific research. Although the space race is over, nations are still battling over scientific superiority and this event damaged NASA's reputation. This also led to many precautions and new safety measures in NASA's programs.