Challenger Center Marks 29 Year Anniversary

Press release from the national Challenger Learning Center organization.

Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada is hosting an event today at Sparks High School. All are welcome to join.

Challenger Center Marks 29 Years Since Space Shuttle Tragedy

Crew's Legacy Lives On in Thriving STEM Education Organization

WASHINGTON (JANUARY 26, 2015) - Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center) and its network of 44 Centers around the globe will honor the crew of the Challenger Shuttle by observing the 29th anniversary of the accident on Wednesday, January 28. The nonprofit education organization was formed in 1986 as a living tribute to the crew and works to strengthen students' interest and knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).


Challenger Center will accompany Challenger family members, June Scobee Rodgers and Dr. Chuck Resnik and his family, to NASA's Day of Remembrance atArlington National Cemetery on Wednesday. NASA's Day of Remembrance was created in the wake of the Columbia tragedy to honor those who gave their lives in the cause of exploration and discovery. The date commemorates the astronauts who died in the Columbia, Challenger and Apollo I accidents as well as the other NASA pilots and employees who lost their lives in the pursuit of exploration.

  • February 1, 2003 is the anniversary of the Columbia Accident, and the loss of the STS-107 crew; Rick Husband, Willy McCool, Mike Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon.
  • January 28, 1986 is the anniversary of the Challenger Explosion and the loss of STS-51L astronauts; Dick Scobee, Mike Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judy Resnik, Gregory Jervis and Christa McAuliffe.
  • January 27, 1967 is the anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire, which took the lives of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.

Challenger Learning Centers around the globe will recognize the anniversary through special events, programs, and discussions with their local students and communities.


"It is hard to believe that we lost our beloved Challenger crew 29 years ago. They had such grand plans to teach and inspire kids around the globe," said Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, founding chair, Challenger Center, and widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee. "As family members, we knew that from that tragedy we had to create triumph, and continue the work of our loved ones. It is awe inspiring to watch Challenger Center continue to flourish and keep our loved one's legacies alive."


Nearly 30 years after the tragedy, Challenger Center continues to grow and be recognized for its successes. In 2014, Challenger Center opened its first newly designed Center since the organization's founding. Challenger Learning Center at the Scobee Education Center, San Antonio College is a state-of-the-art Center that has quickly become Challenger Center's flagship facility. Last year, the organization also opened a Center in Sparks, Nevada, marking the first location in the state. Challenger Learning Centers in Schenectady, NY and Lockport, NY are scheduled to open later this year.

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