After Challenger

At the start of 1986, only Tony England, Owen Garriott, Karl Henize, Bob Parker and Bill Thornton remained as active astronauts from the seventeen selected in the two scientist-astronaut groups. All were now flight experienced and though they hoped for another flight, only two (Garriott and Parker) were actually in training. Less than a month into the new year Challenger was lost, and though they did not wish to be seen to be deserting the astronaut programme in the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy, thoughts of new goals and careers that may have been in the back of their minds took on more immediate significance after the accident.

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