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Plaque, Memorial, Challenger STS 51-L Crew


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed during ascent when a booster rocket failed and the external tank burst into a fireball. The seven members of the STS 51-L mission crew died. For the first anniversary of this tragedy, NASA produced commemorative plaques for the astronauts' families and for the Museum. Each plaque includes a small United States flag that was recovered from the vehicle debris found on the ocean floor. The plaque also bears a mission patch and the names and images of the crewmembers. This plaque is displayed in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition gallery beside a similar plaque in memory of the STS-107 Columbia crew who perished during a reentry accident in 2003.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from NASA


  • Base: Walnut
  • Plaque: Aluminum
  • Flag: Fabric
  • Patch: Paper
  • Additional: Plexiglas, felt, adhesive


2-D - In Frame (H x W x D): 45.7 x 27.9 x 2.5cm (18 x 11 x 1 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number