Judith Resnik

American engineer and astronaut (1949–1986)

Judith Arlene Resnik (April 5, 1949 – January 28, 1986) was an American engineer, pilot and NASA astronaut. She died when the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed during the launch of mission STS-51-L. She was also aboard Space Shuttle Discovery for its first mission, STS-41-D in 1984. She spent 145 hours in space. She was the first Jewish American in space and the first Jewish woman in space.

Judith Resnik
Resnik in September 1978
Born(1949-04-05)April 5, 1949
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
StatusKilled during mission
DiedJanuary 28, 1986(1986-01-28) (aged 36)
AwardsCongressional Space Medal of Honor
Space career
NASA astronaut
Time in space
6d 00h 56m
Selection1978 NASA Group
MissionsSTS-41-D, STS-51-L
Mission insignia

Resnik was born in Akron, Ohio. Her family was Jewish. She earned degrees at Carnegie Mellon University (B.S.) and the University of Maryland (Ph.D.). She was married to Michael Oldak from 1970 until their divorce in 1975.

On January 28, 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after launch. Resnik and all six others aboard died.[1]


  1. "Biographical Data" (PDF). NASA. December 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 23, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019.

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