30 years since Challenger: New voice at astronauts’ memorial

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 1986 file photo, the space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/Bruce Weaver, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 1986 file photo, the space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/Bruce Weaver, File)


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Families of the lost Challenger astronauts are gathering at Kennedy Space Center in Florida to mark the space shuttle’s 30th anniversary.

Dick Scobee, Christa McAuliffe and five others perished when Challenger disintegrated during liftoff on Jan. 28, 1986

This time, there’s a new voice to address the crowd at the memorial.

June Scobee Rodgers – widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee and longtime spokeswoman for the group – is passing the torch to daughter Kathie Scobee Fulgham. Fulgham, not Rodgers, will be on the speaker platform for the ceremony Thursday morning.

And in the audience will be schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe’s son, Scott, with his own family. It will be a rare appearance; the McAuliffes normally do not take part in these NASA memorials.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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