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The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986,
when the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter Challenger (OV-099) (mission STS-51-L)
broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members,
which included five NASA astronauts and two Payload Specialists.
The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral,
Florida at 11:38 EST (16:38 UTC).
Disintegration of the vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff.
The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed,
allowing pressurized burning gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside
and impinge upon the adjacent SRB aft field joint attachment hardware and external fuel tank.
This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB's aft field joint attachment
and the structural failure of the external tank.
Aerodynamic forces broke up the orbiter.
1986, Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
Challenger disaster 2
Challenger disaster 3
Challenger explodes right after launch
Challenger Explosion Photograph courtesy NASA On January 28, 1986, about 76 seconds into its launch
Challenger launch, as seen from the Kennedy Space Center on January 28, 1986
New Challenger Super 8 Film of Shuttle Disaster Uncovered
Space Shuttle Challenger at the Kennedy Space Center in January, 1986
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