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Ahead Of 30th Anniversary, Rubio Remembers The Space Shuttle Challenger Crew

Jan 27, 2016 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement regarding the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, which will be commemorated tomorrow:

“Thirty years ago, we were rocked by an unimaginable tragedy. It was only 73 seconds after liftoff that the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger lit Florida’s skies and brought tears to an entire nation’s eyes, as the world experienced the worst space disaster in history.

“Aboard the Challenger were seven American heroes, including Christa McAuliffe, who was selected from over 11,000 applicants to be the first teacher to go to space. It is a fitting tribute that, since that day, many schools in Florida and around the nation have been named in her honor.

“Most people who lived through this tragedy are able to tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when the explosion took place. For an entire generation of schoolchildren who watched live, this was their very first memory of space exploration. Addressing them directly, President Reagan stated, ‘The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.’ Amid the heartache and confusion, what unraveled before their innocent eyes was a strong nation that stood together, determined and relentless. A nation that carried hurt, but refused to retreat. A nation that continued to look forward.

“I join all Americans in honoring the legacy of the Challenger crew members who gave their lives for the greater good of our nation. The Challenger Seven were eager to explore the universe and discover the unknown in an act of service to all Americans. They were courageous individuals who inspired us and led by example as they carried America toward the future. To this day, the Challenger crew reminds us that we Americans are a resilient people who have always risen above tragedy by uniting and forging ahead.

“As Florida continues to play a role in 21st century space exploration, the sacrifices made on January 28, 1986 will never be forgotten.”