I pointed out on the old site a year ago that I guess it would have been consummate bad taste, when we had the Reaganalia festival in the summer of 2004 when he died, to remind everyone that Challenger had absolutely no business flying in freezing Florida weather, but Ronnie wanted the shuttle circling overhead when he gave his State of the Union address. The fact that Morton Thiokol made the rocket booster “O” rings out of butter didn’t help either.
(I still remember the look of utter disgust on the face of Sally Ride - an astronaut who served on the investigative panel that looked into what happened - when she heard the testimony from M-T's engineers; they were speaking in code that the layman probably wouldn't understand, though Ride knew exactly what they were saying.)
Still, though, that should in no way cast a shadow over the accomplishments of the Challenger crew or lessen the respect due to them.
Update: Oddly enough, another tragedy, this time in the Apollo program, took place on this date also.
Update 1/28: I screwed up - the Challenger disaster occured 20 years ago today, not yesterday.