Challenger Disaster: New Photos Discovered

    January 19, 2014
    Courtney Wills
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Nearly 28 years ago, the disastrous Challenger space mission touched the lives of people across the globe, as billions watched the coverage of the launch on live television. The horrific event was terminated quickly when the craft exploded shortly upon take-off.

Unfortunately, one of the main reasons so many were forever affected is due to the tragic loss of seven lives that morning, when all of the Challenger‘s crew members were killed, barely a minute into their flight.

One of the many lives touched that day was that of a student watching the live coverage with his classmates at school: fourth-grader Michael Hindes.

Hindes, whose grandfather Bill Rendle had worked for NASA, recently stumbled upon several ground-breaking pictures in his grandfather’s Quincy, Massachusetts attic. Included in those pictures were some of the actual moment of explosion during the launch of the Challenger.

Those 26 photographs would soon become the first to ever be published of the aircraft’s entire launch, and subsequent end, clearly depicting both the launch and takeoff, and ending with the tragic images of flames and smoke.

Around 11:40 a.m. EST on January 28, 1986, billions of people around the world watched in horror as the Challenger spacecraft prepared for a launch into space, ending abruptly as the aircraft exploded 73 seconds into its takeoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

A leak in one of the two Solid Rocket Boosters – which ignited the shuttle’s main liquid fuel tank – caused the explosion of the STS-51-L, ending the lives of seven people aboard the rocket, including an Air Force test pilot, electrical engineer, and a teacher.

The Challenger‘s crew consisted of commander Dick Scobee, pilot Michael Smith, three mission specialists: Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, and Ellison Onizuka. The final two crew members were not official employees of the Federal government; fuel expert Gregory Jarvis and teacher Sharon Christa McAuliffe, rounded out the crew for the tragic mission.

McAuliffe was selected from a pool of 11,000 applicants who were in the education profession, making her the first teacher to ever fly in space. The idea for a teacher to join the crew was borne from NASA’s desire to see an educator communicate live with students from space. The attention and excitement garnered by this is thought to be one of the main factors for the publicity that stemmed from the tragedy.

Hindes, who was searching through old photographs after his grandmother’s death, was with his family when he pulled the pictures out of an old box. He says when he showed them to his grandfather, Bill Rendle’s face fell upon the realization of what they showed.

Rendle had come into possession of the photos when he was given them by a fellow NASA employee, soon after the accident. Hindes says his entire family underwent an “overwhelming moment” when he showed them the pictures, before he then posted them on Reddit, igniting a furious storm of interest and comments from the site’s millions of world-wide viewers.

Hindes says, “I watched this happen live on TV with my class in fourth grade, and anyone who knows what that was like also knows that it’s something that will stick with you forever.”

Main image courtesy @Yahoo via Twitter.

Article Images courtesy Americanmustache via Reddit.

  • Shanksville

    America, after the Challenger crash, they were able to find all seven astronauts and tons of debris from the crash. Compare that to the crash in Shanksville. In Shanksville, it was described as “a bunch of garbage thrown in a hole” and they didn’t find one body. In fact, the coroner said he stopped being a coroner after 20 minutes because there wasn’t any bodies. I have a friend who was at Shanksvile and he does not believe the official story. There were not any NTSB people at the crash site and that is highly unusual. They were all FEMA people. Go look at the photos yourself and compare them to other crashes. The NTSB should be all over the place and the NTSB should do the investigation — not FEMA.

    America you are being lied to about 9/11 and Shanksville. Use your common sense.

    • @Shanksville

      Everyone knows 9/11 was an inside job. I have been to the Pentagon. There are so many cameras there and on the buildings that surround the Pentagon. There should be lots of video of the “plane” that hit. There are no pictures because it was a drone that was painted like an American airlines jet that hit the Pentagon. The evidence of this is overwhelming.

      First of all, if you look at the debris, it has white paint on it. 757s for American Airlines were polished aluminum and not white. Secondly, no pilot can pull an 8 G turn, fly a jetliner 6 feet off the ground, and control the plane at 450 knots. Ask any pilot this and you will see. Third, the thought that a bunch of amateur pilots, who used cocaine, who couldn’t speak English, who didn’t have flight experience, and who didn’t know how to operate the guidance software on the planes is just ludicrous. You would have to be a moron to believe the official story.

      Flying a jumbo jet is not easy and you just don’t jump in a cockpit and do it. It is not like the movies. They are massive and fly very fast. Oh, yeah by the way, the engines alone are 9ft tall. There is no way, a jetliner made the hole in the Pentagon. At that height, the engines would have dug massive grooves in the ground. Look at other crash sites. Look at the Pentagon site. The lawn on the Pentagon is not even disturbed.

      It was a drone. It was one of our drones. We did it.