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29th anniversary of Challenger explosion, date noted quietly through the years in Concord

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CONCORD, New Hampshire — Wednesday marks the 29th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, which killed all seven crew members, including New Hampshire schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

The shuttle exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Jan. 28, 1986.

McAuliffe was a social studies teacher at Concord High School. She was picked from among 11,000 candidates to be the first teacher and private citizen in space.

Today, an elementary school in Concord bears her name, in addition to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center and the high school's auditorium. A painting of her in her astronaut uniform is in the lobby.

The Concord school district itself and the city have observed the Challenger anniversary quietly through the years, partly to respect the privacy of the McAuliffe family.

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