Every Collection has a StoryThe Archives holds records that document the Smithsonian’s people, events, buildings, and research. The history of the Smithsonian is a vital part of the history of American experience, scientific exploration, and international cultural understanding.


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Today in Smithsonian History

Challenger Astronauts Memorial Plaque, NASM, by Hrabak, Dale, 1986, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 86-743-35 or 86-743.35.

January 31, 1986

The Space Hall of the National Air and Space Museum is "filled to overflowing" with hundreds who come to watch the telecast of the memorial service for the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger from Houston. The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded during launch on January 28, 1986. As is the custom with all space launches, video monitors had been set up in the Museum for the visitors to witness the launch, so the disaster was witnessed by dozens in the Space Hall.More

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