The Coast Guard cutter Dallas transported this fragment of exterior tiling. Retrieved from the ocean A piece of debris from the space shuttle Challenger is hoisted onto the deck of the Stena Workhorse off the coast of Florida during a recovery mission.
In memoriam President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, stand with the wife of astronaut Michael Smith and other family members at a memorial service for the victims of the Challenger disaster. Grim investigation Apollo 11 moonwalker Neil Armstrong, a member of the presidential panel investigating the Challenger explosion, listens to testimony before the commission in Washington on Feb.
Another commission member, David Acheson, listens in the background. A model of the space shuttle sits on the table. Solving the puzzle Search and recovery teams located pieces of both the left and right sidewall of the shuttle Challenger during the months-long retrieval effort that followed the explosion on Jan. Heat and fire damage scarred the right sidewall. But the left sidewall, depicted here, escaped the flames and suffered only from overload fractures and deep gouge marks.
The largest intact piece formed part of the payload bay sidewall and measured approximately 30 by 12 feet. Washed ashore Some pieces of the shuttle Challenger did not surface until long after the explosion.
A tractor carries one of the shuttle's elevons after it washed ashore on Cocoa Beach, Fla. O'Keefe also paid tribute to the three astronauts of Apollo 1 who died in a launch pad fire on Jan. Sadly, seven more astronauts died just days after this picture was taken, on Feb. Share Back to slideshow navigation.
Discuss: Discussion comments. Expand Collapse. View all comments. Leave your comment. Most active discussions votes comments. Related: Space Advertise. Search Most popular on msnbc. Popular stories currently unavailable Top videos Popular videos currently unavailable. None of us knew any factual information other than what we could see. It was a very difficult afternoon. As for McAuliffe's parents: "You could see just tremendous joy in their faces at launch ," Hall said.
Christa McAuliffe's parents did not know that. They thought there was a problem, but they did not have any idea at all of what had happened. NASA had a pre-approved plan for dealing with a disaster, covering everything from setting up an investigation board to making information available to the media. But in the immediate aftermath, NASA management opted to ignore those plans, instead imposing a strict "no comment" policy, refusing to answer even basic questions about the disaster pending the completion of an official investigation.
On Jan. The Coast Guard agreed to "control data regarding personnel remains and personal effects," according to NASA's internal history of the investigation. During a now-infamous briefing on Feb. But the next day, longtime NBC space correspondent Jay Barbree, quoting unnamed sources, scored a major coup, reporting that tracking camera footage showed a rupture, or burn through, at or near a joint connecting two fuel segments in Challenger's right-side booster.
NASA, of course, would not confirm the report and the agency's refusal to provide basic information about the shuttle or the fate of its crew created increasing antagonism between the media, NASA's public affairs officers and agency officials. Reporters began ambushing NASA managers, appearing on doorsteps after dark and camping out in a park in Port Canaveral to monitor the coming and going of salvage ships, on guard for any behavior that might indicate the presence of their remains. On March 7, salvage divers confirmed the location of Challenger shattered crew module, resting in feet of water 17 miles off shore.
But by monitoring radio traffic, reporters knew when remains were brought ashore. In one telling exchange, the captain of the lead recovery ship, the USS Preserver, refused instructions to bring crew remains back to port in secrecy and in the dead of night.
The shore control operator said he would check the order, but "on that particular one, that apparently is their call, over. The reason we were there was twofold. One, was to get pictures of the debris and two, to see if they'd recovered the bodies of the astronauts. In part, NASA's decision to withhold details in the wake of Challenger was well-intended, borne of a desire to shield the astronauts' families from the intrusive glare of the media and an equally strong desire to avoid speculation until all the facts were known.
And intentional or not, the policy also shielded managers from scrutiny and public accountability, at least in the short term.
But despite NASA's efforts at obfuscation, the presidential commission investigating the disaster slowly but surely uncovered a long history of problems with the O-ring seals in the shuttle's solid-fuel boosters, management miscues and compartmentalized communications that all contributed to the failure. Veteran space reporters generally agree NASA's media policy was a disaster for the space agency, deeply tarnishing the image of a government agency lauded for its open, can-do spirit and forever ending reporters' willingness to simply take NASA's word for something, a lack of trust that lingers to this day.
Could NASA have pulled off such a policy in the presence of social media? There would be people there all the time, there would be video from helicopters, which could get out to where that crash site was, if they couldn't get out there they would be using drones. And I think now, with so many more resources in the hour news cycle, there would be people somewhere that would leak stuff that did not leak it years ago because they felt admiration for NASA, they wanted to stick with them all the way, and they didn't want to be the one who would speak out.
Jeremy Caplan, a professor at the City University of New York's graduate school of journalism, said social media would have had a major impact on the Challenger investigation and the public's knowledge of what happened.
Within a day of the shuttle tragedy, salvage operations recovered hundreds of pounds of metal from the Challenger. In March , the remains of the astronauts were found in the debris of the crew cabin. Though all of the important pieces of the shuttle were retrieved by the time NASA closed its Challenger investigation in , most of the spacecraft remained in the Atlantic Ocean. A decade later, memories of the disaster resurfaced when two large pieces of the Challenger washed up in the surf at Cocoa Beach, 20 miles south of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.
After being verified, the newly found parts were placed in two abandoned missile silos with the other shuttle remains, which number around 5, pieces and weigh in at some , pounds. This was a very satisfying experience. Reduced my anxieties. He strives to treat each patient as an individual with unique issues and concerns.
His goal is to develop a treatment plan that is effective yet as simple and easy for the patient as possible. I imagine once they hit the ocean, the contents more then likely would have bled out, so I find it unlikely there was any pressure left to read once they had been recovered. I've felt after gathering more information about Challenger in recent years that if the crew was alive during the plunge that they probably weren't conscious, given the breakup occurred at about 40, feet with the cabin going uphill for a bit before it began its descent.
Given the extreme nature of the breakup, an intact crew cabin doesn't mean it can hold pressure, given that air lines would have ruptured. Even with Columbia, according to the crew survivability report, micro fractures in the floor below the mid-deck would have depressurized the cabin quick. Loss of consciousness would have been within 10 seconds as Payne Stewart's Lear Jet crash showed depressurization was at over 40, feet in that case. The PEAPs don't deliver pressurized O2 as they aren't intended to be used in loss of pressure situations.
As for the wind shear, that was the straw that broke the camel's back with the SRBs. The o-rings sealed okay after the initial failure at liftoff until the wind shear hit them and that is what opened up the leak again, and it thus blowtorched the aft SRB strut and the rest is history. Of course, post mission analysis would have revealed the serious primary and secondary O-ring leak, meaning the problem would have been a ticking time bomb for another mission.
I am glad Jim mentioned the vehicle didn't explode as the LOX and LHX mixing didn't produce a concussive force as it were it would be a combustion rather then an explosion and it was the slipstream that ripped the orbiter apart. I have heard speculation that the orbiter might have been hit on the right wing by the pivoting SRB, but I am not sure about that.
So much crap was coming out of that fireball, who knows for certain what caused that wing to part company and if it was before or during the rest of the vehicle breakup?
The flame from the SRB would have eroded any kind of foam and melt the metal tank's skin. Why couldn't an abort scenario have steered the boosters out and away as they accelerated forward.
It would also depend on how quickly the SRBs accelerate away as to how much exposure the orbiter would have had. For the record, CNN was the only network that broadcast the L launch live. NBC was first to break into its regularly scheduled programming at a.Sep 21, · 2. The astronauts aboard the shuttle didn’t die instantly. After the collapse of its fuel tank, the Challenger itself remained momentarily intact, and actually continued moving upwards.