The space shuttle was set to go. The astronauts were ready. The countdown started. The space shuttle Challenger was on its way. Most people in America watched. They watched from the ground. They watched on TV. Seventy-three seconds later it was gone.
January 28, 1986, is a day that many people will not forget. The space shuttle Challenger exploded. It was on its way to space. The shuttle was supposed to lift off earlier. The weather was cold. Then, something went wrong with a detector. The detector let people know if there was a fire. The problem was fixed. Later that day, the shuttle was ready. Challenger lifted off at 11:38 a.m.
The shuttle was carrying parts. The parts were for a satellite. A satellite travels around the Earth. Some satellites help some people watch TV. Others help people in faraway places make telephone calls. Other types of satellites help weather forecasters. They can tell what the weather is doing all over the world. The shuttle was also carrying cameras.