Copyright 2001-2012, California Science Center
Apollo 1 crew Challengter STS-51L crew Columbia STS-107 crew


At this time of year we remember the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia because their dates of loss cluster tightly. Apollo-1 was lost on January 27, 1967 as the crew conducted a ground test inside the command module. Challenger was destroyed 19 years later on January 28, 1986 as it ascended toward orbit just 73 seconds after liftoff. After seventeen years without incident Columbia was destroyed while re-entering the atmosphere on February 1, 2003. These losses were painful and tested our resolve but we didn't abandon our vision of exploration. We got smarter, improved our designs, changed our operating procedures and launched again. All of us here at the Science Center feel a special call to remembrance because the space shuttle Endeavour is the replacement vehicle for Challenger. Endeavour's 25 missions took us forward and we invite you to join us in the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion to learn more ... and to remember!

— Dr. Ken Phillips, Curator for Aerospace Science