Surviving the ’80s means never forgetting the Challenger disaster, which still raises questions today. Space launches remain inherently risky, even with extensive training. The world will forever remember the seven crew members who lost their lives on January 28, 1986: Francis “Dick” Scobee, Mike Smith, Judy Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ron McNair, Greg Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.

This tragedy underscores the hazards of exploration and the limits of human ambition. For more details, read on.

An engineer made the prediction

Five engineers from Morton Thiokol, a NASA contractor, urged their managers and NASA to delay the mission the night before the scheduled flight. These engineers informed them that rubber O-ring seals would fail to seal properly in chilly conditions.

The Challenger’s launch was scheduled to take place in very cold weather.

The managers and NASA overruled warnings, causing engineer Bob Eberling to tell his wife, “It’s going to blow up.”

“NASA ruled the launch,” Eberling explained 30 years later. “They had their mind set on going up and proving to the world they were right and they knew what they were doing. But they didn’t.”