January 28, 2006
ECE remembers alumna Judith Resnik, who died 20 years ago as a mission specialist in the space shuttle Challenger explosion on January 28, 1986. Born in Akron, Ohio, Resnik received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 1970, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1977. She worked for RCA Corporation, the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the National Institutes of Health, and Xerox Corporation, before she was selected by NASA for their first group of women astronauts.
Participating in the shuttle program at the Johnson Space Center, she became the second American woman in orbit on the Discovery flight, on which she helped to deploy three satellites and conducted biomedical research. Resnik was one of seven astronauts who died aboard the Challenger; she was 36 years old and had spent more than 144 hours in space.
Source: NASA biography