Tonight at Space Center Houston, I had the chance to see the STS-109 crew talk about their Hubble servicing mission. After their talk, they took questions from the audience. One kid asked about seeing other planets from orbit. John Grunsfled, an astronomer answered the question. He said that it was very easy to see the stars from the shuttle and that the planet Jupiter was quite bright. One of his colleagues also made the comment that they were so busy that they hardly had time to view the scenery.
After the presentation, I spend a minute or so talking to John Grunsfeld. He said that he could even see the Large Magellenic Cloud.
So I guess the hoaxers idea that the Challenger was blown up to keep Christa McAuliffe from saying you could see stars from space is wrong. The crew of the latest Shuttle Mission is still with us.