Divers discover part of space shuttle Challenger in Atlantic Ocean

NASA confirmed that a piece of it space shuttle Challenger found in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida, more than 36 years after the shuttle exploded shortly after takeoff.

The discovery was made by a History Channel documentary crew searching for the wreckage of a World War II-era aircraft, according to a NASA press release. Divers spotted what was described as a “large man-made object”, partially covered in sand. Due to the “proximity to the Florida Space Coast” and the “modern construction of the object and the presence of 8-inch square tiles”, the documentary team notified NASA of their discovery.

No further details were given about the found piece, but NASA Administrator Bill Nelson he said the discovery gives people around the world “an opportunity to pause once again” and think about the lives lost in the tragedy.

NASA STS-51L crew members pose for a photo. / Credit: (Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

“While it has been nearly 37 years since seven daring and brave explorers lost their lives aboard the Challenger, this tragedy will forever be etched in our nation’s collective memory. To millions around the world, including me, January 28, 1986 feels like yesterday,” Nelson said. “This discovery gives us an opportunity to pause once again, to highlight the legacies of the seven pioneers we lost, and to reflect on how this tragedy has changed us.”

The The space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch on January 28, 1986. Seven people were on board, including mission commander Francis R. “Dick” Scobee and pilot Michael J Smith. Shipping Specialists Ronald E. McNairEllison S. Onizuka and Judith A. Resnik, payload specialist Gregory B. Jarvis and teacher S. Christa McAuliffe he was also part of the crew.

The major malfunction, which occurred just 73 seconds after launch, was due to unexpectedly low temperatures affecting the integrity of the seals in the rocket booster.

By law, all space shuttle artifacts are the property of the US government. In the press release, NASA said the agency is still trying to determine what to do with the discovered piece. The agency’s priority is to ensure that any actions taken “honor the legacy of the fallen Challenger astronauts and the families who loved them.”

Henry Cruz, bottom right, looks at a replica of the space shuttle Challenger honoring USAF Col. Ellison Onizuka, the first Japanese American astronaut who died in the 1986 Challenger explosion, at a memorial service Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in Los Angeles.  Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger that killed seven astronauts.  (AP Photo/Nick Ut) / Credit: AP

Henry Cruz, bottom right, looks at a replica of the space shuttle Challenger honoring USAF Col. Ellison Onizuka, the first Japanese American astronaut who died in the 1986 Challenger explosion, at a memorial service Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in Los Angeles. Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger that killed seven astronauts. (AP Photo/Nick Ut) / Credit: AP

Previously, pieces of debris from the Challenger explosion were on display at the Kennedy Space Center. ONE 2015 Reportcombined with the help of the crew members’ families and loved ones, it focused mainly on the lives of the astronauts, but also exhibited a piece of the damaged fuselage of the shuttle.

In 2017, a soccer ball recovered from the wreckage of the explosion was carried to the International Space Station. The ball had been brought aboard by mission specialist Onizuka, whose daughter was a soccer player, according to Shane Kimbrough, ISS commander at the time.

“Challenger and its crew live on in the hearts and memories of both NASA and the nation,” Kennedy Space Center Director Janet Petro said Thursday. “Today, as we turn our gaze again to the Moon and Mars, we see that the same love of exploration that drove the Challenger crew continues to inspire today’s Generation Artemis astronauts, calling them to build on the legacy of knowledge and of discovery for the benefit of all mankind”.

This mission, which was NASA’s 25th shuttle mission, was the last Challenger bus launched. NASA said the loss of Challenger and another shuttle, Columbia — which also had seven astronauts on board when it disintegrated during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere in February 2003 — “greatly affected” NASA’s safety culture and led to the establishment of new risk assessment procedures and the creation of the Office of Mission Security and Assurance.

“At NASA, the core value of safety is — and must forever remain — our top priority, especially as our missions explore more of the world than ever before,” Nelson said in the press release.

The documentary showing the discovery of the Challenger object is scheduled to air on Tuesday, November 22, according to NASA.

Katharine Mcphee Talks Christmas Album With Husband David Foster, Motherhood and Jewelry Line

Five-time World Series champion Derek Jeter at the induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, World Series

Mariah Carey on the new storybook, childhood and when it was “time!” to celebrate Christmas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *