Space Shuttle Challenger was the second orbiter of NASA's space shuttle program to be put into service, after Columbia.
Challenger was built by Rockwell International's Space Transportation Systems Division, in Downey, California. Its maiden flight, STS-6, began on April 4, 1983.
The orbiter was launched and landed nine times before breaking apart 73 seconds into its tenth mission, STS-51-L, on January 28, 1986, resulting in the death of all seven crew members, including a civilian school teacher.
It was the first of two shuttles to be destroyed in flight, the other being Columbia, in 2003. The accident led to a two-and-a-half-year grounding of the shuttle fleet; flights resumed in 1988, with STS-26 flown by Discovery.
Challenger was replaced by Endeavor, which was built from structural spares ordered by NASA in the construction contracts for Discovery and Atlantis.
On This Day in Space! Jan. 28, 1986: Space Shuttle Challenger Explodes After Launch Space.com - January 28, 2019
Jan. 28, 1986: Challenger disaster plays out on live TV CBS - January 28, 2019
Son of space shuttle Challenger commander remembers tragedy 33 years ago ABC - January 28, 2019