American Astronaut. He was the commander of the Space Shuttle "Challenger" when it exploded on January 28, 1986. Born in Cle Elum, Washington, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1957 as an engine mechanic, and attended college in his off-duty hours and was eventually awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1965. He was made an officer the same year and attended flight school, earning his wings as a combat aviator in 1966 during the Vietnam War. On his return stateside, he attended the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, graduating in 1972 and becoming a test pilot for numerous experimental aircraft. In January 1978 he was selected for NASA's astronaut training program; upon his completion, he served as an instructor for the shuttle's 747 carrier and waited for his first assignment for spaceflight. His opportunity came on April 1984 when he piloted the Challenger space shuttle on a successful mission to deploy and repair satellites. Promoted to spacecraft commander, he was next assigned to pilot the Challenger on a study of Halley's comet on January 28, 1986. After numerous setbacks due to technical problems and difficult weather, the shuttle Challenger lifted off; seventy-three seconds after launch it exploded, killing all seven members of the crew. The Challenger disaster, broadcast live on television, became a defining moment of the generation. Dick Scobee was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, a few steps from the Challenger and Columbia memorials and near other astronauts who died in the twin disasters. In 2004, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Bio by: Lysa
U S AIR FORCE