Anniversary of Space Shuttle Challenger
25 years ago today, the space shuttle "Challenger" was destroyed 73 seconds into its orbital mission to deploy a new satellite. All seven crewmembers died. It was humanity's first orbital mission to involve fatalities.
The commission investigating the disaster determined that a seal on the right-hand rocket booster had failed, which caused a mechanical part to hit the external fuel tank, igniting the pressurised fuel inside. The resulting fireball caused the complete collapse of the vehicle, and "Challenger" herself broke up moments later due to the massive hull stress.
Three months later, the US Navy located the crew capsule in the deep waters of the western Atlantic off the coast of Florida. It contained the remains of all seven crewmembers. Contrary to popular belief, the seven astronauts were not killed in the explosion, but managed to "eject" their capsule from the shuttle while it was breaking up. Unfortunately, the sudden loss of cabin pressure would likely have rendered them all unconscious almost immediately, and they lost their lives either through asphyxiation during the 3-minute fall to Earth, or in the impact of the landing itself.
One of the crew of the "Challenger" was a civilian teacher, who had won a competition to join NASA and become the first civilian in space.
This is still hard watching, so use your discretion!
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BIGTYM2010 (28-01-11), Lucy Chambers (28-01-11), Rachel Divine (28-01-11)
God, I actually remember that happening-to burn to death like that with the world watching is unbelieveable.
Originally Posted by Mousey
25 years!!!! Thats my age!!!
Interesting post, mousey.