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The American Experience
Image map: dates 1902 - 1988
1986

1986
January
The space shuttle "Challenger" explodes soon after lift off, killing all seven crew members aboard. Among the crew was a civilian, Christa McAuliffe, a school teacher from New Hampshire.


May
Assisted only by sled dogs, a team of American and Canadian explorer -- Will Steger, Paul Schurke, Anne Bancroft, Geoff Carroll, Brent Boddy, and Richard Weber -- reach the North Pole without the benefit of mechanical assistance. The team traveled a distance of 500 miles over 56 days.


1989


January
Traveling with a team of nine others, Shirley Metz and Victoria Murden become the first women and the first Americans to reach the South Pole over land. Along with the other members of their team, the two traversed 740 miles on skis over a period of 51 days.


1992


September
U.S. astronaut Mae Carol Jemison becomes the first African-American woman to travel in space. Jemison was part of the crew of the space shuttle "Endeavour".


1993

1993
April
Ellen Ochoa, one of the crew of the U.S. space shuttle "Discovery", becomes the first Hispanic woman in space.


1997

July
NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission, three years in the making, places a science payload on the surface of the Red Planet and demonstrates the mobility and usefulness of a micro-rover on Mar's surface. Live pictures are beamed back to earth and broadcast over international television.


1998

1998
October
Thirty-six years after being the first American to orbit the earth, 77-year-old John Glenn acts as payload specialist onboard the space shuttle "Discovery". Glenn volunteered for the mission in order to take part in a series of experiments related to age and space travel. Glenn is the oldest person to travel in space.



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