On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger, during Mission 51-L, exploded at 11:39 a.m., seventy three seconds after liftoff, killing all aboard: Francis R. Scobee, Shuttle Commander; Michael J. Smith, Pilot; Ellison S. Onizuka, Judith A. Resnik, and Ronald E. McNair, Mission specialists; Gregory B. Jarvis, Payload Specialist. Also on board was Christa McAuliff, a school teacher and the first civilian chosen.
In 1986, Commissioner El Franco Lee named Challenger Seven Memorial Park in honor of the seven NASA astronauts who lost their lives in the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle. Located in the park is a monument commemorating the loss of these heroes.
The design of the Challenger Memorial, located inside the park, is an exact color reproduction of the logo that the crew members designed themselves for the mission.
There are approximately 100 acres of Challenger Seven Memorial Park that have been sanctioned by the Audubon Society and designated a bird sanctuary. The Nature Trails allow you to access the Bird Sanctuary and other undeveloped areas of the park.
There are three elevated observation platforms that are connected to the boardwalk, allowing for viewing of the wetlands along Clear Creek, a natural tributary that flows along the Harris County southern boundary, emptying into Clear Lake, adjacent Galveston Bay.
The fishing pond at Challenger Seven Memorial Park is a man made pond that is available to the public for fishing. It is stocked yearly with large Mouth Bass and Catfish.
There are currently two pavilions available at Challenger Seven Memorial Park. These pavilions are equipped with electrical outlets, running cold water and a barbeque pit with smoke box. The pavilions can hold up to 200 people. Reservations are required and may be obtained by calling the Precinct One Park Reservation Office at 713.440.1587.
The Challenger Seven Learning Center provides friendly environmental educational opportunities to area schools and children's groups. The Learning Center also provides up-close introductions to the animal kingdom. Program subjects include Insects, Snakes, Turtles, Raptors, Bats, Alligators, Crustaceans, and Marine Life.
- Bird Sanctuary
- Clear Creek
- Learning Center
- Picnic Area
Size: 326 acres
Summer Hours: 7:00AM - 9:00PM
Winter Hours: 7:00AM - 7:00PM
Located in Harris County (Precinct 1)