Thursday, January 27, 2011

25 Years Ago, It took 73 seconds,and 46 Thousand Feet and that was it for the Challenger

     WASHINGTON – NASA marked a day of remembrance on Thursday for astronauts who have died in the line of duty, particularly the victims in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger 25 years ago.

Schoolchildren and space enthusiasts around the world watched live Jan. 28, 1986, as the Challenger lifted off carrying seven astronauts, including the first teacher, Christa McAuliffe, to embark on a mission to space.

The shuttle exploded 73 seconds after launch at an altitude of 14,000 metres (46,000 feet), killing everyone on-board.

"This year marks the 25th anniversary of the loss of Challenger -- a tragedy that caused us to completely re-think our systems and processes as we worked to make the shuttle safer," said NASA chief Charles Bolden.

"The nation will never forget Jan. 28, 1986, nor its indelible images."

Engineers determined that the blast was caused by the failure of a joint seal caused by cold weather.

Bolden attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington on Thursday, and flags at NASA stations were flown at half-staff.

A total of 24 people have been killed while supporting the space agency's mission since 1964, NASA said.

Among them were seven astronauts killed aboard the Columbia in 2003 when the space shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry to Earth cvaused by a damaged heat shield that was compromised by a broken off piece of insulation.

Three astronauts died aboard the Apollo 1 in 1967 when a fire broke out during a launch pad test.

"NASA has learned hard lessons from each of our tragedies, and they are lessons that we will continue to keep at the forefront of our work as we continuously strive for a culture of safety that will help us avoid our past mistakes and heed warnings while corrective measures are possible," Bolden said.

"The legacy of those who have perished is present every day in our work and inspires generations of new space explorers."

The United States plans to retire its space shuttle program this year. The shuttle Discovery is set to launch on Feb. 24, followed by Endeavour on April 18.

If the space agency can secure the funding from Congress, a final voyage to the International Space Station is scheduled for Atlantis at the end of June.

The shuttles made a major contribution to the construction of the ISS, a multibillion-dollar project begun in 1998 and financed largely by the United States.

After the fleet is retired, international space agencies will have to rely on Russian space capsules for access to the ISS.


Les F said...

This was the 25 th Shuttle Launch

Les F said...

It was unbelievable to see that happen,,,,,and it's just as strange to see 25 years later.

Les F said...

This video from Australia News Program shows a clip of kristy mccauliffe's daughter,who didn't want her mother to go....................................she just wanted her mother to 'stay around her house'

Les F said...

Wow ,watch thiss video. I have never seen this one before now 25 years after the event. This guy kept his camera trained on the event,& you have to admit,this is interesting footage,I wonder if it was the capsule ?

Strange thing that I could not embed this video directly from Youtube,but rather I had to post it on my site,then use Multiply's Share button to embed it here. Well there you go learn something new everyday,now when I come across a video that has the 'embed code removed by request' I can get around it................................................................Cheers !! HF&RV

Les F said...

The remains of the crew that were identifiable were returned to their families on April 29, 1986.
Two of the crew members (Richard Scobee and Michael J. Smith) were buried by their families at Arlington National Cemetery at individual grave sites.
Mission Specialist Lt. Col. Ellison Onizuka was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Unidentified crew remains were buried communally at the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial in Arlington on May 20, 1986.

Its unlikely that any crew members were conscious when the crew cabin hit the ocean. During the breakup of the vehicle, the crew cabin detached in one piece and slowly tumbled. NASA estimated separation forces at about 12 to 20 times the force of gravity very briefly; however, within two seconds, the forces on the cabin had already dropped to below 4 g, and within ten seconds the cabin was in free fall.
These forces were likely insufficient to cause major injury.
At least some of the astronauts were likely alive and briefly conscious after the breakup, because three of the four Personal Egress Air Packs on the flight deck were found to have been activated. Investigators found their remaining unused air supply roughly consistent with a calculated consumption of 2 minutes 45 second (the time of the post-breakup trajectory). If the detached crew cabin didn't maintain pressure, the crew would have been consciou sof only a few seconds at that altitude (the PEAPs supplied only unpressurized air, and wouldn't have kept the crew conscious). The crew cabin hit the ocean surface at roughly 334 km/h with a deceleration of over 200 g (they could not have survived that impact).

Les F said...

I just watched a show on the investigation into the Challenger accident, on the National Geographic channel,.very interesting,however I could not find a complete video on the net of the show 'Seconds from Disaster' by the NG. I did find this video released by NASA on their findings & explanation of what hapenned. Although I somewhat trust NG more than I do a company that gets Billions (maybe more) in research money,I think they have reported much of what NG did,just in more technical terms (NG being more down to earth matter of fact & better esplained. You may find this NASA video ,interesting ,
It is not a real short film,but some of you may want to see it.

Cheers !! HF&RV