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Ronald Reagan addresses the nation after the 1986 Challenger accident

In a speech made from the Oval Office on January 28, 1986, President Reagan postponed his State of the Union address to "mourn seven heroes" killed when the space shuttle Challenger broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean. President Reagan took a moment in the speech to specially address the American schoolchildren who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's take off when he states, "It's all a part of the process of exploration and discovery." The president also expressed continued confidence in the space program. The speech concludes with President Reagan quoting from the poem, "High Flight," when he says the crew "slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

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