The excitement lasted only 73 seconds.
On January 28, 1986, 1 minute and 13 seconds after liftoff, space shuttle Challenger exploded as thousands watched the launch in person and on television. All seven astronauts on board were killed.
It became one of the most iconic live breaking news events in television history.
"This is one of the first big ones," said Stacey Schulman, a media analyst with Katz Television Group. "It is one of those moments, particularly for the current generation, where they say 'where were you when?'"