Challenger disaster

Article

January 27, 2022

The Challenger disaster was the destruction of the Challenger spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on January 28, 1986. The STS-51-L spacecraft suffered a catastrophic technical failure at a height of 14 km 73 seconds after launch and crashed seven astronauts on board, Greg Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald Ervin McNair, Ellison Shoji Onizuka, Judith Arlene Resnik, Michael John Smith and Francis Richard Scobee lost their lives. It would have been Challenger’s tenth spaceflight and it was the first U.S. space disaster to occur in flight. The main cause of the disaster was that the start took place in a cold, sub-freezing temperature. Subsequent investigations concluded that one of the rubber seals on one of the side solid-state accelerators (SRBs), the so-called The O-ring has become inflexible and more susceptible to injury under these conditions. The hot gases formed inside the rocket burned through, which led to a flare-out, which then touched the outer fuel tank, which first burst, and then the propellant and oxidant were released, bursting, destroying the entire spacecraft. The destruction of the spacecraft, however, was not caused by the explosion of propellant, but by the extremely altered fluid resistance forces that acted far beyond the design limits on the spacecraft that turned from orbit after the destruction of the tank. The spaceship simply shattered as a result of the forces thus occurring. Astronauts, essentially housed in a crew cabin detached from a wrecked spacecraft, died not in an explosion, but in the crash of the cabin into the Atlantic Ocean, when the forces of a huge deceleration created created intolerable, unsustainable conditions for life. The remains of the cabin, including the corpses of seven astronauts, were collected along with many other wrecks during an extensive search and rescue operation that began immediately after the accident. They were brought up from the depths of the ocean or the wreckage floating on the surface was collected. An examination of these, the available film, photo and sound recordings, and the telemetry data recorded by the management made it possible to reconstruct what happened and to discover the process of the accident. President Ronald Reagan addressed the American nation after the accident, attended the astronauts' mourning ceremony, and later ordered an independent investigation into the circumstances of the accident. After four months of work, the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, or more popularly named Roger, named the main cause of the accident, the O-ring failure. . In addition, a number of other causes contributing to the accident were revealed, which were rooted in NASA’s organizational culture, decision-making mechanisms, and communication processes and ultimately led to the tragedy. Following the Commission's recommendations, the Space Shuttle program was suspended for 32 months until the redesign of the defective components and the review and repair of the criticized NASA processes were completed. Space shuttle spacecraft continued only on September 29, 1988, with the Discovery spacecraft STS-26.

The crew

Commander: Francis “Dick” Scobee - previously flown with Challenger on a successful STS-41-C mission. Pilot: Michael John Smith (first flight) - the Vietnamese

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