“Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.”
-Sir Fred Hoyle
The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster of January 28, 1986, marked a tragic chapter in space exploration. Seventy-three seconds after liftoff, the Challenger exploded, claiming the lives of all seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. The catastrophe, caused by a faulty O-ring seal in one of the rocket boosters, shocked the world and halted space missions for over two years. It spurred inquiries into NASA’s safety protocols and organisational culture. This catastrophic event remains a poignant reminder of the risks inherent in space exploration and emphasised the critical need for stringent safety measures and meticulous scrutiny in every facet of space missions.