Challenger's Maiden Nighttime Flight

Space shuttle Challenger's third flight was the first to have its beginnings in darkness, as NASA's eighth space shuttle launch lit up the Florida sky at 2:32 a.m. EDT, Aug. 30, 1983. The STS-8 crew consisted of Commander Richard Truly, pilot Daniel Brandenstein, and mission specialists Dale Gardner, Guy Bluford and William Thornton. On Jan. 28, 1986, Challenger and its crew were lost when a booster engine failed, causing the shuttle to break apart just 73 seconds after launch. Image Credit: NASA

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