CAPE CANAVERAL (CBSMiami) — Today marks 36 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

The accident on Jan. 28, 1986 — just 73 seconds into flight — killed all seven on board, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

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The disaster unfolded on live TV before countless schoolchildren eager to see McAuliffe, an everyday teacher, rocketing toward space. She would have been the first teacher in space.

The Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida, caused by the failure of O-rings in the shuttle’s right solid rocket booster.

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(FILE PHOTO) Space Shuttle Challenger crew members gather for an official portrait November 11, 1985. (Back, L-R) Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka, Teacher-in-Space participant Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist Greg Jarvis and mission specialist Judy Resnick. (Front, L-R) Pilot Mike Smith, commander Dick Scobee and mission specialist Ron McNair.  (Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

In addition to McAuliffe, crew members included Commander Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and co-pilot Michael J. Smith.

NASA’s first Teacher in Space Project was designed to inspire students, honor teachers, and spur interest in mathematics, science and space exploration.

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CBSMiami.com Team