January 28, 1986 – Space Shuttle Discovery disaster

January 28, 1986 was a very tragic day for American space exploration generally, and for the Space Shuttle program specifically. The twenty-fifth flight in the Space Shuttle program – STS-51-L – ended in a fatal explosion just 73 seconds into its flight, killing the entire crew aboard, including civilian-teacher Christa McAuliffe.

Challenger flight 51-l crew.jpg

Wikipedia says:

“The Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds into its flight after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The seal failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it filled, allowing a flare to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent attachment hardware and external fuel tank. The SRB breach flare led to the separation of the right-hand SRB and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces promptly broke up the orbiter. The shuttle was destroyed and all seven crew members were killed. The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation.”

Challenger explosion.jpg


~ by tellinghistory on January 28, 2007.

One Response to “January 28, 1986 – Space Shuttle Discovery disaster”

  1. May the soul of the departed crew members rest in piece. However, the carelessness at NASA over the failure to postpone the launch was unbelievable. It could only have been better imagined than seeing it happened. The struggle by Roger Boisjoly to stop the launch was commendable. Although he stood as a lone ranger, he was in fact a million miles ahead of those to whom he was reporting at Morton Tiokol, and by extension NASA Management. The disaster offers us a painful but great lesson in life.

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