Science fiction had warned of such an accident. At Chernobyl, fiction became fact when a Ukrainian nuclear power plant exploded, sending radioactive fallout over Europe. More than 330,000 people had to be resettled.
Christa McAuliff was going to be the first teacher in space. But 73 seconds after launch, the space shuttle blew apart, killing all seven astronauts. The TV images horrified the world. Disaster hit the program again in 2003, when seven astronauts died aboard the shuttle Columbia.