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Space Shuttle Challenger STS-51L Explosion

NASA and Kennedy Space Center1986-01-28

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum
Washington, DC, United States

Caption from NASA:

On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger and her seven-member crew were lost when a ruptured O-ring in the right Solid Rocket Booster caused an explosion soon after launch. This photograph, taken a few seconds after the accident, shows the Space Shuttle Main Engines and Solid Rocket Booster exhaust plumes entwined around a ball of gas from the External Tank. Because shuttle launches had become almost routine after fifty successful missions, those watching the shuttle launch in person and on television found the sight of the explosion especially shocking and difficult to believe until NASA confirmed the accident.

Details

  • Title: Space Shuttle Challenger STS-51L Explosion
  • Creator: NASA, Kennedy Space Center
  • Date Created: 1986-01-28

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