The Tragic Challenger Explosion
The Tragic Challenger Explosion Space Travel. It is a sense of national pride for many Americans. If you ask anyone who was alive at the time, they could probably tell you exactly where they were when they heard that Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the Moon. But all of the success in our space programs is overshadowed by tragedy. On January 28, 1986, one of the worst disasters in our space program's history occurred. Many people were watching at the moment because it was the highly televised space mission where, for the first time, a civilian was a member of the crew that was to be shot into space.
This civilian was the winner of the "Teacher in Space" contest, Christa
…show more content…
Gregory was very dedicated to the space program. Despite being bumped off two previous flights, he finally got his chance. Unfortunately, his only flight was that of the Challenger. It is very saddening to see seven bright lives vanish in a ball of fire, but it is said that the explosion was so rapid that the crew did not realize their coming fate. (Gray 35) Perhaps we can all take comfort in the fact that their last vision was that of the stars. Now, many people haven't heard exactly what went wrong to cause such an explosion. (Dumoulin, 1-2) The Challenger finally launched after five days of delays. On January 28, 1986, the morning of the launch, there was ice at Kennedy Space Center. After an inspection crew gave the go-ahead, the launch was underway. Just after liftoff at .678 seconds into the flight, photographic data show a strong puff of gray smoke was spurting from the vicinity of the aft field joint on the right solid rocket booster. Computer graphic analysis of film from pad cameras indicated the initial smoke came from the 270 to 310-degree sector of the circumference of the aft field joint of the right solid rocket booster. This area of the solid booster faces the External
Tank. The vaporized material streaming from the joint indicated there was not complete sealing action within the joint. Eight more distinctive puffs of increasingly blacker smoke were recorded between .836 and 2.500