Hundreds gathered at NASA's launch site Friday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, receiving words of hope from the widow of the space shuttle's commander. The chilly outdoor ceremony drew space agency managers, former astronauts, past and present launch directors, family and friends of the fallen crew — and schoolchildren who weren't yet born when the space shuttle carrying a high school teacher from Concord, N.H., erupted in the sky.
The accident on Jan. 28, 1986 — just 73 seconds into flight — killed all seven on board, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger's commander, Dick Scobee, urged the crowd to "boldly look to the future" not only in space travel, but in space and science education. She was instrumental in establishing the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. "The entire world knew how the Challenger crew died," she said. "We wanted the world to know how they lived and for what they were risking their lives."