On January 28, 1986 the Challenger shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center with seven crew members aboard: Commander Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, pilot Michael J. Smith, payload specialist Gregory B. Jarvis, school teacher Sharon Christa McAuliffe, and mission specialists Judith A. Resnick, Ronald E. McNair, and Ellison S. Onizuka. Designated STS 51-L, the mission was the first to feature a school teacher. McAuliffe planned to conduct several experiments while in space, which would be broadcast to schools across the United States. Millions watched the nationally broadcast launch. 72 seconds after lift-off, a mechanical failure caused the Challenger to break apart, tragically killing all seven crew members.