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Challenger (1990)

New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe joins six other astronauts on the tragic 1986 space-shuttle flight.

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Commander Francis R. Scobee
Julie Fulton ...
Dr. Judith A. Resnick
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Gregory B. Jarvis
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Captain Michael J. Smith
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Dr. Ronald McNair
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Lt. Colonel Ellison Onizuka
Raye Birk ...
Joseph Kilminster
James Monroe Black ...
Robert Mayfield (as James Black)
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Cheryl McNair
Elizabeth Kemp ...
Jane Smith
Jeanne Mori ...
Lorna Onizuka
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Larry Mulloy
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Roger Boisjoly
...
Gene Thomas
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Storyline

This film profiles the astronauts, crew, and civilians who were involved in the January 28, 1986 flight of the space shuttle Challenger, that resulted in its explosion 73 seconds after takeoff. Center point of the film is the safety inspections and arguments surrounding the use of the o-rings that ultimately were blamed for the explosion. Film is lent authenticity by being filmed at the Johnson Space Center in Texas. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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based on the true story of the tragic space shuttle disaster

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Drama

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Release Date:

25 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Challenger - Um Vôo Sem Retorno  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Lt. Col. Ellison Onizuka: Why are you closing the windows? It's hot in here.
Lorna Onizuka: Because I'm gonna shout.
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Connections

Followed by The Challenger Disaster (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Made Too Soon
20 November 2004 | by (Morristown, NJ) – See all my reviews

I revisited this for the first time in 14 years after watching more recent docudramas of the space program like "Apollo 13" and "From The Earth To The Moon" to see how well it held up. I have no problem with the acting, or the manner in which the Challenger's crew is depicted. What I do think hurts this film though is the decision to not depict the explosion and the aftermath and just end it with the launch. I realize this was done because in 1990, the events were still too fresh in public memory to want to see the images of disaster again, but this decision ultimately hurts the film's ability to be a long-term definitive telling of the story. What was needed instead was a flashback framing device of the Rogers Commission investigation, with Roger Beaujolay and Lawrence Molloy being subjected to the painful admissions of what went wrong, and how they were impacted by the tragedy. And thumbs down for the cheesy ending of the Challenger astronauts reciting the poem one line at a time instead of providing something more moving like President Reagan's remarks to the nation that afternoon.

For all it's virtues, the story of the "Challenger" disaster ultimately deserves a better treatment than this version gave it because it was simply made too soon after the tragedy for there to be appropriate perspective.


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