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  Newsround viewers remember 1986 space disaster
Updated 28 January 2003, 14.30
Space shuttle Challenger
Seventeen years ago, the world's worst space disaster happened.

On 28 January 1986 the space shuttle Challenger lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, US, carrying seven astronauts.

But just over one minute later it blew up.

The astronauts' families and millions of Americans saw the tragedy happen live on TV.


But the first time many people in the UK heard about what happened was on CBBC's Newsround.

Lots of adults have been remembering how they felt at the time and have been e-mailing BBC's On This Day website.

The website features news stories from the past, on particular days.

Dave remembers how he felt: "I remember getting home from school a little late, turning on the TV to see Newsround's coverage of the explosion. I recall how sick I felt."

And Helen said: "Newsround was the first British programme to show this as it happened."

Civilian first

Among the five men and two women astronauts on board was school teacher Christa McAuliffe.

She would have been the first civilian in space.

The cause of the tragedy was traced to a cracked part which led to a fire and then an explosion.

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Find OutTake a tour of the space station
Find OutFind out about space
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
New crew blasts off for space station
Astronaut breaks record with space trip
Endeavour touches down after 3-day delay
Shuttle Atlantis lands safely in America

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On This Day

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