Senator Shaheen Honors Legacy of Christa McAuliffe Ahead of 35th Anniversary of Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy

January 27, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement ahead of the 35th anniversary of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy:

“Tomorrow marks a somber anniversary for New Hampshire as we mourn the loss of the Challenger crew, including our very own Christa McAuliffe,” said Senator Shaheen. “We lost Christa 35 years ago, but her legacy lives on today in the students and teachers she inspired to follow in her footsteps, especially young women, to become leaders in science, mathematics and innovation. The Challenger tragedy was a day every Granite Stater remembers, and my thoughts are with her family, friends, former students and colleagues and all of the Concord community. While Christa did not make it to outer space, she completed the mission she lived by: ‘I touch the future. I teach.’ Her story and impact on all Americans endures more than three decades since her passing, and I have no doubt that in New Hampshire and across the country, generations of students will know who Christa McAuliffe was and what she stood for.”

The Space Shuttle Challenger crew included Christa McAuliffe, Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Mike Smith, and Ellison Onizuka.

Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to create a commemorative coin honoring Christa McAuliffe, the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act, was signed into law in 2019. The bill passed the Senate and the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support, and further reaffirms American commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and supports it with proceeds from the coin.  Last month, Shaheen released a video message celebrating the coin’s unveiling. Senator Shaheen also entered a statement into the Congressional Record celebrating Christa McAuliffe’s life and service.