On January 28, 1986, the Challenger Space Shuttle was launched on a live broadcast. 73 seconds after the shuttle was launched, it broke apart and killed all 7 crew members. A recovery operation was able to locate many pieces of the shuttle and an investigation determined that the disaster had been caused by a faulty O-ring seal.
The Challenger disaster is ingrained in the memories of anyone who watched it happen on TV, listened to the launch on the radio, or learned about it in a classroom. Although the disaster was caught on film and camera, a new set of photos that were recently discovered by the grandson of a NASA contractor show the entire disaster, clip by clip.
The new photos seem to show a normal space shuttle launch, but a few photos in, it’s easy to see that something isn’t right. Separate streams of smoke can be seen and then what appears to be an explosion. The photos belong to Michael Hindes, who shared them on Reddit.
Hindes recalled watching the launch on television as a child and said,
“I watched this happen live on TV in 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.”
Many other Reddit users commented on the photos and shared their memories of the launch and disaster.
Although many people recall watching the launch live on television, the disaster itself was shown on a taped relay. Many people recalled seeing the ship explode, as a fire ball fell to the earth. Investigators were able to determine that the shuttle did not really explode, and the fire ball was caused by propellant tanks. Investigators also determined that although the shuttle broke apart at the 73 second mark, the crew members were not killed instantly and likely survived until the Challenger fell 65,000 back into the water, 2 minutes and 45 seconds after breakup.
Do you remember the Challenger disaster and what do you think of the new photos?
Images via YouTube.