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Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster 25 Years - Review
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart approximately 72 seconds into the flight, which lead to the deaths of its seven crew members. That will be 25 years this year 2011. There are so many people born since 1986 and so much has happened. 2011 will mark the end of the space program at Kennedy Space Center, Florida as we know it. The week of January 24th NASA NASA gave an official Notice of Availability and Request for Information to pinpoint interest from industry for space facilities.
Breakup of the entire ship, Space Shuttle Challenger, began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. Contrary to original account, the shuttle and external tank did not actually "explode". Instead they quickly disintegrated under incredible aerodynamic forces. When the external tank crumbled, the fuel and oxidizer stored within it were released, producing what looked like a massive fireball.
During space ship breakup, the crew cabin separated in one piece and slowly tumbled into a ballistic arc. The cabin hit the ocean surface at approximately 207 mph with a probable deceleration at impact of well over 200 g, far beyond the structural limits of the crew compartment or crew survivability levels.
In April 1986 the remains of the crew were returned to their families. Two of the astronauts, Dick Scobee and Capt. Michael J. Smith, were buried by their families at Arlington National Cemetery. Mission Specialist Lt Col Ellison Onizuka was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Ronald McNair is interred in South Carolina.
STS-51-L crew members: Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik
Dr. Ronald Ervin McNair
Dr. McNair was assigned as a mission specialist on STS 51-L. Dr. McNair died on January 28, 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after launch from the Kennedy Space Center, FL. The disaster took the lives of the spacecraft commander, Mr. F.R. Scobee, the pilot, Commander M.J. Smith (USN), mission specialists, Lieutenant Colonel E.S. Onizuka (USAF), and Dr. J.A. Resnik, and two civilian payload specialists, Mr. G.B. Jarvis and Mrs. S. C. McAuliffe, teacher
They were posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. It’s the highest accolade given in NASA, awarded by the President of the United States in Congress' name on recommendations from the NASA. While the Congressional Space Medal of Honor is a civilian award of the United States government, it is approved as a military decoration for display on U.S. military uniforms due to the esteem of the honor.
Work Cited and Resources
- Rogers Commission report (1986).
"NASA Photo and TV Support Team Report, Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, Volume 3, Appendix N".
- Challenger Center: Challenger Crew: Ron McNair
Challenger Center for Space Science Education uses students' natural enthusiasm for space to create innovative learning experiences for imaginative young minds. By transforming the way teachers teach and students learn, Challenger Center is creating
- TRIO - Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program
This program prepares participants for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.
Astronaut Biography: Ronald E. McNair