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Arlington


Virginia

Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial

The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on Jan. 28, 1986, just seconds after take off, killing all seven crew members. It was nearly two months before the remains were recovered from the ocean floor, about 18 miles off the shore of Cape Canaveral.Early on the morning of May 20, 1986, the unidentified remains of all seven astronauts were buried near Scobee's grave in Section 46.

Capt. Michael Smith, the pilot of the Challenger was buried in Section 7A, Grave 208, May 3, 1986. On May 19, 1986, Francis "Dick" Scobee's cremated remains were interred in Section 46, Grave 1129.

Early on the morning of May 20, 1986, the unidentified remains of all seven astronauts were buried near Scobee's grave in Section 46.

On June 12, 1986, the 99th Congress passed a concurrent resolution stating "the Secretary of the Army should construct and place in Arlington National Cemetery, a memorial marker honoring the seven members of the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger."

It was decided by family members and NASA to construct the monument over the cremated remains in Section 46.

Family members of the seven Challenger astronauts and approximately 400 people attended the dedication ceremony on the morning of March 21, 1987, including then Vice President and Mrs. George Bush.

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Memorial of the Space Shuttle Challenger
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Source: Arlington National Cemetery
Last modified: 20070503
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