space shuttle Challenger

Challenger was:

1. The name of the Space Shuttle Orbiter that first flew on April 4, 1983 (STS-6).

2. The nickname of the Apollo 17 Lunar Module.

3. The name of the 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). For more, see Challenger expedition.


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.