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The Challenger (OV-099) was a space shuttle operated by the United States of America's NASA space agency in the 20th century.

History and legacy[]

On 28 January 1986, Challenger was destroyed, exploding 73 seconds after being launched for mission STS-51-L. All seven members of the crew were killed in the explosion. (DS9 - Mission Gamma novel: Twilight; ST reference: Star Trek Chronology)

One of the seven crew members was a civilian school teacher, Christa McAuliffe. The USS McAuliffe and the Class F shuttlecraft McAuliffe, attached to the Federation starship USS Farragut, were named in her honor. (DS9 comic: "Frozen Boyhood", ST reference: Ships of the Line 2006)

Challenger mission specialist Ellison Onizuka was similarly honored by Starfleet, with a Type-15 shuttlepod Onizuka on the USS Enterprise-D named after him. (TNG episodes: "The Ensigns of Command", "The Mind's Eye")

In April 2063, a large images of Challenger's STS-41-G and STS-51-L mission patches were displayed in the Crash & Burn bar in Bozeman, Montana. (TNG movie: Star Trek: First Contact)

Elias Vaughn once viewed the memorial to the crew of the Challenger when he was a teenager. In the year 2376, the Inamuri entity allowed Vaughn to experience the memory. (DS9 - Mission Gamma novel: Twilight)


Early flights[]

Final flight[]



Ships named Challenger
Cardassian Union, Central Command CDS Challenger Seal of the Cardassian Union. United States of America Challenger (OV-099, space shuttle) Flag of the United States.
United Earth, Starfleet USS ChallengerChallenger (NX-03, NX-class) Seal of United Earth. Seal of the Earth Starfleet.
Federation, Starfleet USS Challenger (Ranger-class)USS Challenger (NCC-1715, Constitution-class)USS Challenger ("Mongrel"-class)USS Challenger (NCC-2032)USS Challenger (NCC-2023, Excelsior-class)USS Challenger (NCC-71099, Galaxy-class)USS Challenger (Sovereign-class)see also: Challenger-class Seal of the United Federation of Planets. Seal of the Federation Starfleet.
Federation, Starfleet
(Kelvin timeline)
USS Challenger Emblem of the United Federation of Planets. USS Enterprise assignment insignia.
Klingon Defense Force IKV Challenger Klingon Empire flag image.
United States space shuttles
US flag icon image. Enterprise (OV-101)Columbia (OV-102)Challenger (OV-099)Discovery (OV-103)Atlantis (OV-104)Endeavour (OV-105)Icarus (prototype)Renaissance (OV-165, 2nd gen.) NASA emblem icon image.
This section is written
from the Real World
point of view
Memory Beta


  • Challenger was the third shuttle built, and was first launched on 4 April 1983. [1]

External link[]