Francis R. Scobee, STS-51L Commander
Astronaut Francis R. Scobee, commander. Francis Richard Scobee (May 19, 1939 - January 28, 1986) was an American astronaut. He was killed commanding the Space Shuttle Challenger, which suffered catastrophic booster failure during launch of the STS-51-L mission. Some experts, including one of NASA's lead investigators, Robert Overmyer, who was closest to Scobee, believed most if not all of the crew were alive and possibly conscious during the entire descent until impact with the ocean. After the investigation, Overmyer stated, "I not only flew with Dick Scobee, we owned a plane together, and I know Scob did everything he could to save his crew. Scob fought for any and every edge to survive. He flew that ship without wings all the way down." In 2004, Scobee was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame. After the Challenger disaster, a number of schools, streets, and municipal facilities in the U.S. were renamed in his honor.
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