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Space Shuttle Challenger|1986 in spaceflight Wikipedia
The year 1986 saw the destruction of Space Shuttle Challenger shortly after lift-off, killing all seven aboard, the first in-flight deaths of American astronauts. This accident followed the successful flight of Columbia just weeks earlier, and dealt a major setback to the U.S. manned space program, suspending the Shuttle program for 32 months.
The year also saw numerous fly-bys of Halley's Comet as well as other successes.