The Moment the Challenger Broke
On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger — the tenth flight and orbiter mission STS-51-L of NASA, broke apart just after 70 seconds into its launch. There were seven crew members onboard, including teacher and payload specialist Christa McAuliffe, all of whom were killed.
An estimated 17 percent of Americans watched the launch live. This photo shows the heartbreaking scene and reaction of witnesses on the ground as they watched the shuttle break apart.