Americas News Now | Latest News-Challenger Explosion-Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. Twenty-five years ago, NASA’s space program and all Americans were rocked when the space shuttle Challenger exploded minutes after takeoff. In what would be a first for NASA, the shuttle carried its first civilian ever in school teacher Christa McAuliffe.
The space shuttle Challenger carried 7 passengers. Among those McAuliffe, a science teacher, had been chosen from thousands of applicants across the country to be the first civilian to accompany NASA into space. Unfortunately, seconds after take-off, the shuttle exploded killing all 7 on board.