When the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after liftoff on January 28, 1986, there were seven astronauts on board whose lives were tragically cut short. Scobee piloted the shuttle Challenger into space on its fifth mission in April 1984; his next assignment was as commander of the Challenger mission in January 1986. His son, Lieutenant General Richard W. Scobee, is now Chief of Air Force Reserve in Arlington, Virginia and Commander of the Air Force Reserve Command at Georgia's Robins Air Force Base. Onizuka immediately joined the Air Force and became an aerospace flight test engineer and then a test pilot. McAuliffe arranged for a year away from her job and trained with NASA in anticipation of her shuttle mission.