Challenger Disaster

The space shuttle Challenger is known for the many feats and accomplishments that is has achieved throughout it’s career. Although, it is also known for what happened on January 28th 1986, the day it was lost along with the 7 astronauts that controlled the spacecraft. This was a monumental loss for the families of the astronauts as wells as NASA and the United States as a whole.

It was on the ship’s tenth mission (STS-51-L) that it was lost after breaking numerous records and achievements such as carrying the first female, african-american and canadian astronauts. The final mission also marked the start of the Teachers In Space Program or TISP which was uncuccessful for obvious reasons. It was just over a minute into flight when all went wrong. It was eventually determined that the explosion was caused by an O-ring (that NASA was warned of by engineers working on the ship) leak that was made worse by intense heat which overheated and weakened a support that attached a booster to the external feul tank. The booster broke off, puncturing the fuel tank causing a leak which then ignited causing the devastating explosion.

 

The Challenger disaster resulted in the 32 month review of the shuttle program where officials sought to make sure something like this would never happen again. Emergency ejection seats were originally removed from the craft after being deemed unnecessary after the first four seccuessful missions. Many suggestions were given but it is likely that none were carried out due to cost and design demands.

 

 

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