On This Day 1986: Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

The Challenger lifts off on Jan. 28, 1986, from a launchpad at Kennedy Space Center. Seventy-three seconds later, an explosion killed its crew of seven.

Challenger…..

Go with throttle up.

source: Wikipedia

On January 28, 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter undertaking mission STS-51-L and the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-099) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members: five NASA astronauts, one payload specialist, and a civilian school teacher. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape CanaveralFlorida, at 11:39 a.m. EST (16:39 UTC). The disintegration of the vehicle began after a joint in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The failure was caused by the failure of O-ring seals used in the joint that were not designed to handle the unusually cold conditions that existed at this launch. The seals’ failure caused a breach in the SRB joint, allowing pressurized burning gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB aft field joint attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB’s aft field joint attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces broke up the orbiter.

AP Photo/Bruce Weaver

The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. The exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown; several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. The shuttle had no escape system,[a][1] and the impact of the crew compartment at terminal velocity with the ocean surface was too violent to be survivable.[2]

The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found NASA’s organizational culture and decision-making processes had been key contributing factors to the accident,[3] with the agency violating its own safety rules. NASA managers had known since 1977 that contractor Morton-Thiokol‘s design of the SRBs contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the O-rings, but they had failed to address this problem properly. NASA managers also disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching posed by the low temperatures of that morning, and failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors.

Approximately 17 percent of the American population witnessed the launch on live television broadcast because of the presence of high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space. Media coverage of the accident was extensive; one study reported that 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour of the accident.[4] The Challenger disaster has been used as a case study in many discussions of engineering safety and workplace ethics.

The crew for the Space Shuttle Challenger flight 51-L leaves their quarters for the launch pad, Jan. 27, 1986, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Front to back are Commander Francis Scobee, Mission Spl. Judith Resnik, Mission Spl. Ronald McNair, Payload Spl. Gregory Jarvis, Mission Spl. Ellison Onizuka, teacher Christa McAuliffe, and pilot Michael Smith. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Interesting read for y’all about the guy that figured out that the O rings failed…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

Calamity Jane