Former Ky. teacher reflects on Space Shuttle Challenger disaster


LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Today marks 35 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

On this day in 1986, seven members aboard the challenger died when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after liftoff. A Kentucky resident from Franklin County reflects with us on this day of remembrance.

At the time, Sue Ellis was a Kentucky teacher in training and a space candidate to board the shuttle. She was the youngest of the contestants in 1986 and found out she was pregnant, which excused her from the mission.

Ellis said the memories made the day sad for her. “I’m very melancholy remembering Krista, remembering the crew. I think of all the teachers, all the other ambassadors we’ve lost over the years. It was a dream job to be around the shuttle and the astronauts and calling them friends. But it’s also melancholic because we’ve lost so many. Melancholy to know that I lived through the era of the shuttle, and we look forward to new ways to travel in space.

Ellis continued his career at NASA developing educational materials. She said it was a dream job and she is grateful to all the astronauts she has worked with and called friends.


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