DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – This January 28 marks the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, when the shuttle exploded seconds after takeoff. Seven crew members aboard were killed.
The effects of the tragedy are still felt today in the U.S. Air Force. “The Air Force switched from mainly relying on the space shuttle for its access to space, specifically for large reconnaissance satellites, to a mixed capability,” said Dr. Doug Lantry, curator at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
They started using more Expendable Launch Vehicles, or rockets without astronauts, to get those satellites into orbit. You can see some of this on display at the museum, including the only remaining Titan 4B launch vehicle.