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