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Challenger Disaster Live on CNN

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Challenger Disaster Live on CNN

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January 28th, 1986 at 11:39 am EDT – The Space Shuttle Challenger Explodes on its 10th flight during mission STS-51-L. The explosion occurred 73 seconds after liftoff and was actually the result of rapid deceleration and not combustion of fuel.

CNN was the only national news station to broadcast the mission live, so thus what you are witnessing on this video is the only coverage of the disaster as it happened when it did. Approximately 17% of Americans witnessed the launch live, while 85% of Americans heard of the news within 1 hour of the event.

According to a study, only 2 other times in history up to that point had news of an event disseminated so fast – the first being the announcement of JFK’s assassination in 1963, the second being news spread among students at Kent State regarding the news of FDR’s death in 1945. It has been estimated at the time that nearly 48% of 9-13 year olds witnessed the event in their classrooms, as McAuliffe was in the spotlight.

The 25th Space Shuttle mission altered the history of manned space exploration and represented the first loss of an American crew during a space mission (Apollo 1 was during a training exercise).
Christa McAuliffe was slated to be the first teacher in space for the Teacher in Space Program. As her maximum altitude was ~65,000ft (12.31 miles), she never made it to space.

That title was given to Barbara Morgan of STS-118 aboard the shuttle Endeavour in August 2007, 22 and a half years after the Challenger Disaster. Morgan served as McAuliffe’s backup during STS-51-L. As Morgan is now part of the Educator in Space Program, she will be credited as the first “educator” in space, to distinguish her from McAuliffe.

Aboard Challenger during STS-51-L:

Francis “Dick” Scobee (Commander)

Michael Smith (Pilot)

Judith Resnik (Mission Specialist)

Ellison Onizuka (Mission Specialist)

Ronald McNair (Mission Specialist)

Gregory Jarvis (Payload Specialist)

Sharon Christa McAuliffe (Payload Specialist – Teacher in Space)

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Stephen Lawrence: Gary Dobson and David Norris to be sentenced

Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty by an Old Bailey jury after a trial based on forensic evidence.
They will be sentenced as juveniles because they were under 18 at the time of the attack, which happened in south-east London in April 1993.Police say the investigation could be reopened if new evidence emerges.
Dobson, 36, and Norris, 35, can expect to receive sentences considerably shorter than would an adult convicted of the same crime under today’s laws.The BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent Matt Prodger says they could serve minimum prison terms of around 12 years each.
Scientists found a tiny bloodstain on Dobson’s jacket that could only have come from Mr Lawrence. They also found a single hair belonging to the teenager on Norris’s jeans.
Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, who ordered the 2006 cold case review that led to the convictions, acknowledged that police believe there were five people involved in the murder, but there are currently no “live” lines of inquiry.
“If there was an opportunity to bring the other people who were involved in that night to justice, we would do so,” she said.
Give up others’
In a statement read by his lawyer outside the Old Bailey on Tuesday, Stephen’s father, Neville Lawrence, said the convictions were a moment of joy and relief – but he could not rest until all of those who killed his son were brought to justice. He described the investigation and preparation of the case as “faultless”.
He later told Channel 4 News: “I’m praying that these people now realise that they’ve been found out and say to themselves, ‘yes I did this awful deed, but I wasn’t alone in that action that night and there are other people also guilty of what I’ve done’ and name them.
“I hope before the sentence is passed, they will talk and give the rest of these people that killed my son up.”In an exclusive interview with the BBC’s Panorama, Stephen’s mother Doreen Lawrence said: “I don’t forgive the boys who killed Stephen. They don’t think they have done anything wrong.
“They took away Stephen’s life and there is nothing in their behaviour or anything to show they regret what their actions have done and the pain it has caused us as a family.”Prime suspects’
The original failed investigation into the murder led to the Metropolitan Police being branded as institutionally racist.
Stephen Lawrence was 18 when he was stabbed to death near a bus stop in Eltham, south east London, in April 1993.
Police identified five men who were later named in a damning public inquiry as the “prime suspects”.
By that time, there had already been a catalogue of police errors and two failed prosecutions, one brought by Stephen’s parents.

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