During his January 1985 State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress, and an international television audience, US President Ronald Reagan announced a new educational initiative: He would appoint a school teacher to join a shuttle crew on a flight into space.
Someone in the Reagan White House had the bright idea that the president’s 1986 State of the Union Address coincide with the successful return landing of the Challenger, with teacher Christa McAuliffe on board.
That’s when a tragic series of mistakes began to unfold.
The first glitch was when NASA scuttled the original launch date of the Challenger. The launch pad conditions did not meet the minimum safety conditions required for launch.