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      StoryCorps releases animation of McNair story on Challenger tragedy anniversary

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Monday marks the anniversary of one of the space program's biggest tragedies.

      It has been 27 years since the Challenger disaster.

      On January 28, 1986, The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight.

      The blast was traced to the cold weather, which froze an O-ring, causing it to malfunction and setting off the chain of events that led to the tragedy.

      All seven crew members died, including civilian teacher, Christa McAuliffe, and South Carolina native, Dr. Ronald E. McNair.

      Monday, StoryCorps, an independent nonprofit established in 2003, released an animated feature of McNair's library tale.

      The story tells how McNair ignored segregation to check out library books in his home town of Lake City. He eventually got his books, and later became a hero of the small town.

      According to NASA, McNair graduated from Carver High School in Lake City and continued his education at North Carolina A&T State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.