The 1980s ( pronounced "nineteen-eighties", commonly shortened as the "80s" ] was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1980, and ended on December 31, 1989. The decade saw great socioeconomic change due to advances in technology and a worldwide move away from planned economies and towards laisse-faire capitalism. Many economists at the very least agree that the changing global economic trends of the 1980s can be somewhat attributed to the "Reagan Boom", which, in the 1980s was a record setting era that produced more jobs and more economic expansion than any other time in U.S. history.
Video games and personal computers experienced explosive growth. MTV was launched and music videos began to have a larger effect on the record industry. The space shuttle program was progressing smoothly, until the tragic loss of the Challenger (STS-51-L) on January 28, 1986, taking with it seven astronauts, including Christa McAuliffe, who was to have been the first teacher in space.
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