Probably the most memorable moment of the 80s occurred on January 28, 1986. At about 73 seconds into it's ninth launch, the space shuttle Challenger exploded in full view of the people watching on the ground and on TV. The O-rings, a set of gaskets that sealed the joints between the rocket booster sections failed due to being exposed to cold weather. The twin booster rockets separated and flew off, the shuttle cabin separated and fell ten miles into the ocean. All seven members of the shuttle crew died. After the explosion, shuttle flights were delayed until 1988, and NASA announced civilians would no longer be allowed on shuttle flights (though civilians have been in space in the nineties).
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