Remembering space shuttle Challenger: Five ways it changed spaceflight
Twenty-five years ago Friday, the space shuttle Challenger came to a tragic end, exploding on liftoff and claiming the lives of seven astronauts. Here are five ways the Challenger pushed spaceflight forward.
2. Diversifying space travel
Challenger delivered the first American woman, the first African-American, and the first Canadian into space. Sally Ride was among those on a six-day mission in June 1983, during which she and the rest of the crew deployed two commercial satellites, studied the social behavior of ants in space, and performed other scientific tasks. Two months later, Guion Bluford Jr. became the first African-American in space, followed by Canadian Marc Garneau in 1986.