Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Science


  1. space shuttle Challenger
    Space Shuttle Orbiter that first flew on April 4, 1983 (STS-6).

  2. Nickname of the Apollo 17 Lunar Module.

  3. British steam corvette after which both the above spacecraft were named. HMS Challenger carried out the first comprehensive, round-the-world oceanographic survey (1872–1876) under the scientific direction of Sir Charles Wyville (1830–1882). Its results formed the 50-volume Challenger Report (1881–1895).

Orbiter Challenger

Among the milestones of the Orbiter Challenger were the first spacewalk from a Shuttle (STS-6), the flight of the first American female astronaut (STS-7), the flight of the first African-American astronaut (STS-8), the first use of free-flying Manned Maneuvering Units during a spacewalk (STS-41B), and the first in-flight repair and redeployment of a satellite (STS-41C). Challenger was lost, along with its crew of 7, shortly after launch on January 28, 1986. See Challenger disaster.

Related category