A man was at his grandparent’s house going through their belongings after his grandmother passed away. He was digging through an old box of photos when he discovered these photos from the 1986 Challenger explosion. There was a lot of coverage of the Challenger explosion, however these give you a view from the crowd watching below. These photos are so tragic. It shows a perfect timeline from the launch to the explosion. His grandfather worked for NASA as a contractor and he was able to see just about every space shuttle launch. One of those was the famous Challenger launch. Below are pictures of the explosion which he happened to catch at the perfect time.
This was not the Challenger’s first flight. It had flown 9 successful missions starting in 1983 until the end of 1985.
The Challenger flew more than any other orbiter during that time.
It also carried the first woman astronaut in US history!
In 1986, Challenger had a total of 15 flights scheduled, which would also include the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Galileo, and the Ulysses space probe.
During its 10th mission on January 28, 1986, the success of the Challenger would all change.
There were seven crew members on board during the launch, and all seven of them would lose their life that day.
One of the people killed was teacher-in-space Christa McAuliffe. During the mission, McAuliffe was going to teach a few classes that would then be transmitted to classrooms on Earth.
The accident was caused by a rupture in a joint in the right hand solid rocket booster. Solid rockets use solid fuel. They basically are lit then keep burning until all of the fuel is gone.
Each solid rocket boost is 149 feet long and is made up of 4 sections that are bolted together, which then form the whole booster. When the sections are placed together, there are weak spots where fire could leak out of the sides while burning.
To fix the issue of fire escaping, they placed two rubber 0-ring seals in the joint. However, NASA had been having issues with the o-rings for several years. They believed the second o-ring would stop any fire from escaping.