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Central Washington University

CTE's Challenger Explores Aftermath of Space Tragedy

February 25, 2013

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- On January 28, 1986, the Challenger space shuttle broke apart just 73 seconds after launch.

Its seven-member crew died in a shocking explosion witnessed on live television around the world. Up until that moment, the United States space program had captured the hearts and imaginations of all Americans. After the Challenger disaster, many wondered if space exploration should continue to be pursued.

Using facts, original and secondary sources, student writing, improvisation, and drama, Central Washington University’s Central Theatre Ensemble (CTE) has created Challenger, a new theatre piece exploring the Challenger disaster, its causes, and the aftermath. This play is best suited for mature audiences.

Challenger will be performed on February 28, March 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9, at 7:30 p.m., and on March 10 at 2:00 p.m. in the Milo Smith Tower Theatre.

Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 509-963-1429, or in person at the Welcome Center on University Way or at the Wildcat Shop Customer Service desk in the Student Union Recreation Center. Parking at CWU is free after 4:30 and on weekends, except in designated spaces and lots.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

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