JAN 28, 2016 5:43 AM PST

30 Years After the Challenger Disaster


Thirty years ago today, the Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off on a bright clear day, carrying seven astronauts. On board was the first teacher in space, New Hampshire native Christa McAuliffe. Her parents were at the launch site, watching as the shuttle lifted higher into the air. 73 seconds after lift off there was a terrible explosion. Spectators on the ground knew that something had gone wrong, but the magnitude of what had happened was not immediately known.

We now know that it was O-rings in the solid rocket fuel boosters that failed and caused the explosion. They were not tested at such low temperatures and the weather was cold the day of the launch. The accident resulted in a 32-month halt of NASA spaceflights and a complete overhaul of the shuttle program. The Rodgers Commission, formed at the direction of the President, investigated and found that the organizational culture at NASA impacted the decision-making process and that key managers had ignored warnings about the solid rocket booster seals and low temperatures.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
DEC 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 16, 2019
Here's What Would Happen if the Earth Stopped Orbiting the Sun
The Earth orbits the Sun once every 365 days, or one full year. It does this while whizzing through the vacuum of space at break-neck speeds of up to 110,0...
DEC 29, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 29, 2019
Anthills Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg
At first glance, an anthill looks like a small pile of sand on the Earth with a tiny hole in the top that ants crawl into to evade danger, but they’r...
JAN 09, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 09, 2020
Australian Bushfire Update
Devastating wildfires continue to ravage the continent of Australia. The report from BBC News below, which aired earlier this week, gives an encompassing u...
JAN 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 12, 2020
This is Why You Shouldn't Mess With Beached Whales
When large whales die, one of two things can happen: 1) their bodies can sink to the bottom of the ocean and go on to support smaller life forms; or 2) the...
FEB 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 09, 2020
Here's Why NASA Needs Another Space Station Orbiting the Moon
NASA already has the International Space Station at its disposal, and with that in mind, many have come to question why the American space agency plans to...
FEB 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 18, 2020
This Wasp Turns Cockroaches Into Zombies for its Larvae
We can’t think of anyone that likes cockroaches, but one insect in particular seems to scout them out specifically for its own bizarre reasons. The e...
Loading Comments...