How Many Space Shuttles Have Blown Up?
Two space shuttles have blown up. The Space Shuttle Challenger blew up in 1986 less than a minute and a half after launch. In 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded upon re-entry. In both accidents, all crew members died.
The Space Shuttle Challenger incident has a particular mark in history because it was supposed to be the flight of the first teacher in space. The teacher, Christa McCauliffe, was from New Hampshire. She had been selected from thousands of applicants and was to give a series of lessons while in space. Although only two shuttles have exploded, there have been other astronaut deaths. In 1963, three astronauts were killed during a routine test.