February 24th, 2012
01:10 PM ET

Rare Challenger disaster video surfaces

They are nightmarish images that are burned into the national consciousness: the ominous twin exhaust trails of the exploding space shuttle Challenger.

More than a quarter century later, in an extremely rare discovery, Bob Karman of  Hicksville, New York,  has uncovered amateur VHS videotape of the tragedy, shot during his family's vacation on that day, January 28, 1986. The video first surfaced on  New Scientist.

Appearing on CNN Newsroom on Friday, Karman said he believes it is the only known VHS amateur videotape of the explosion. The other known tape was shot on Betamax format, Karman told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield. "The emotions do come out every time you see the tape  and the tragedy that occurred," said Karman. "It just reinforces the bravery of these astronauts going up in space."

In the video, Karman, his late wife and his then-three-year-old daughter Kim are at an Orlando, Florida, airport - about 50 miles from Kennedy Space Center.

"While we were at the airport people were returning from their vacations and I said, 'Look over there and you'll be able to see the space shuttle taking off,'" Karman recalled.

Off camera, you can hear voices in the video suggesting that they're unaware of the historic events that are taking place before their eyes.

"They're on their way," says a voice.

Of course they weren't on their way.

Challenger's seven crew members - who President Reagan famously said "slipped the surly bonds of Earth" - perished shortly after liftoff. See CNN's 25th anniversary coverage from 2011.

"I had a sense that there was something going wrong," said Karman. "But it wasn't until we got on the airplane that the pilot announced the tragedy that had occurred."

"The rest of the plane flight home was very somber."

Karman's daughter can be seen at the top of the video. She now works at New Scientist, said Karman, who stumbled across the tape again after all these years as part of a home-video digitizing project in preparation for his retirement.

"I remembered this tape, but it was a lot better than I remembered," Karman said. "So I sent a copy to my daughter at New Scientist magazine and it became an Internet sensation."

How often does an artifact like this pop up? Especially when you consider that most Americans didn't own video recorders in 1986. It makes you wonder what other historic video treasures are out there buried in closets, attics and basements.

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Filed under: News
soundoff (271 Responses)
  1. Atilla

    Posted on nice to see it's still tough to make a movie in LA & your still stealing loicatons Kai!!! looking good can't wait to see what happens. Stormie

    August 3, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  2. Yanka

    | July 8, 2009 HiAwesome plugin, I got it to work in aedrrgs to shadowbox the video and get it to play however in my wordpress post I just see the text Click here to watch but I don't see a image thumbnail at all. I have even tried to upload a custom one.Is there something i'm missing?-Tobias

    April 6, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  3. Ruma

    Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff piuvroes to and you're just extremely excellent. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you're stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can't wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great site.

    April 6, 2012 at 3:30 am |
  4. jhg

    If explsions require compression what the hell do you think liquid hrdrogen is. Compressed hydrogen

    February 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  5. VroegerWasAllesBeter

    Hey, look at the great smooth zooming behavior of that cam: analog & optical, just turn the swivel. Try that with current digital stuff. Not only will the motor determine the zoom speed, but it decides itself to go to pixellated digital zoom right when you don't want it. My ideal: 80-ies optics on modern ccd. 'New' is usually just different, and seldomly better in all respects.
    The video also shows what happened in great detail: After the blast of the hull of the main body, the two solid-fuel booster rockets went on.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  6. Derke

    Hey buddy, you got a little hair stuck on your upper lip.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  7. Cotrell malone

    What? 26 years later. Who sits on a video likes this. The vidoe may be real but the back story is fake.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  8. David Katz

    Still tragic after all this time.

    February 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  9. ThanksforTheGore

    Thanks for the video as it makes it all so much better now. Does anyone have the video posted of the captive from Irag that was beheaded? Seriously did this need to surface? Really? What the freak....

    February 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Robofsemi

      Seriously did this comment need to be made? Really? What the freak....

      Did someone hold a gun to your head and make you watch the video? No, then shut it and go away.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  10. Phil

    "most Americans didn't own video recorders in 1986"

    Yes we did. Many people had them. We bought our second one in 1985.

    February 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Robofsemi

      He said, "most", which is probably a very accurate assertion.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  11. tammyheral@hotmail.com

    I was a junior in high school when it happened remember like yesterday I didn't hear about it till I got home that evening

    February 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Jim Bradshaw

      II remember at a private school I was attending, they set out t.v.s outside for the children of all ages to watch. When the incident occurred the teachers were shocked, silent, quiet....and didn't really know what to say. JB

      February 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
      • ME

        I had a teacher in school who had been training to be a back up for this flight.... He told our class once he had a really bad feeling during a training exercise one day and that he decided, if he had been called upon to take the flight he didn't think he would be able to get over his nerves and actually go. Even 10 years later you could still see the pain in his eyes when he talked about it... He said after that day he still had the respect and admiration for astronauts, but he just couldn't handle being apart of the program and returned to teaching.

        February 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Erkan

      Thanks for your article. I would like to raemrk that the very first thing you will need to do is to see if you really need repairing credit. To do that you must get your hands on a copy of your credit score. That should not be difficult, since the government necessitates that you are allowed to receive one absolutely free copy of your actual credit report every year. You just have to check with the right persons. You can either check out the website owned by the Federal Trade Commission or perhaps contact one of the major credit agencies immediately.

      April 7, 2012 at 6:13 am |
    • Bruna

      My last point, why are you trying to make the famlee representatives/ Ministers of the BLP seem as if they hold the Ministry of Women? **************************************************Yam P][e,Another attempt at your spin...a.k.a lies...!There is no such Ministry in Barbados...Ministry of Women !The question remains....what have the BLP women championed for the Women of Barbados....?Where is their policy pronouncement on :Greenland...?Edutech....?Fishing Agreement...?NHC $ 50,000.00 houses...?Millenium Heights.....?Minimum Wage...?Women on the Industrial Estates....?Which one.....tell us Yam P][e....!

      April 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  12. THERE IS A TIME TO REFLECT

    all for the AMERICAN DREAM or just more POLITICS

    February 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  13. tj

    This guy is such a liar " i thought something was wrong" he was going on about how that was a great takeoff.

    February 25, 2012 at 6:28 am |
  14. cacalips

    Budget cuts suck don't they????

    February 25, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  15. Challenger

    there is still a deep secret--christa mcauliffe was warned not to fly but took it as an insult instead

    February 25, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  16. A teen

    I wasn't born for another 8 years or so, but I have read up on this. The O-ring theory seems the most consistant. And regardless of how it happened, it happened, and it was tragic. It just goes to show how much media has romanticized the job of the astronaught. If there is any mistake at all, they could very well face death. These men and women were tremendously brave, and should be honored and remembered accordingly.

    February 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  17. just me

    2nd shuttle explosion even more apparent the cause..hell they knew on the grnd that the shuttle was at very high risk due to tile damage..great daring heroes lost their lives...takes guts to do what they do

    February 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  18. Steve

    NASA – Need Another Seven Astronauts....

    February 24, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • james denny

      very poor taste seven people lost their lives that day. Not funny at all.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:32 am |
      • tj

        No it was very funny that other commentator has no sense of humor

        February 25, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Phil

      Wasn't funny when I heard it in 1986 either.

      February 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  19. BHH

    It was interesting, but not as good as "They got troubles, George". ;)

    February 24, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  20. Judas Priest

    Why are all my replies to other comments being dumped to the bottom of the thread?

    February 24, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  21. Nan

    Read the book "Surely, you're joking, Mr. Feynman" describes how Richard Feynman discovered the cause of the explosion.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  22. elizabeth

    Maybe this should be stored away, like the news video of the disaster, out of respect for those who died in the explosion. To see even the still frame of the aftermath took me right back to Professor Don Sears' U.C.C. class at Fleming Law School at University of Colorado on January 28, 1986. It is just as sickening now as it was then. Ellison Onizuka from CU was among the seven who died aboard Challenger; may they rest in peace.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Vad

      I don't know. For some reason the saying "out of sight, out of mind" seems fitting. I had not even thought about this tragedy for so long that when I see the video the emotions come flooding back. I think it should be shown so we don't forget. Let the people who let those 7 crew members down be reminded as well.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  23. noone

    That's one of the most ridiculous mustaches I've EVER seen!

    February 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Paola

      You ought to really take into raosidecotinn engaged on developing this blog into a serious authority in this market. You evidently have a grasp handle of the matters everyone is searching for on this web site anyhow and you could actually even earn a buck or two off of some advertisements. I might explore following latest topics and raising the amount of write ups you place up and I assure you'd begin seeing some wonderful targeted traffic within the close to future. Only a thought, good luck in no matter you do!

      April 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  24. ironage

    Bush's fault.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  25. God

    Bada boom. Big bada boom.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  26. Ian

    It's DisneyWORLD, Bob. Not Disney Land. Different coast.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Robert

      Actually it is Disneyland, not Disney Land...

      February 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
      • Michael Richter

        Actually, it's "Disneyland Park" not "Disneyland." Shall we keep going?

        February 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
      • DON'T break the chain, or your children will have wolverine heads.

        Uh, Disneyland Park on the Sunset Strip?

        February 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  27. evidence

    clearly work of terrorist.. to bad we couldn't see clearly post 911...

    February 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Madame Rue

      That would be "PRE" 9/11, genius!

      February 26, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • Vera

        this shuttle svecire has bad idea written all over it. I don't like the idea of a private party profiting from the improper use (abuse) of our beautiful parks and their trails. I would wager to guess that less than 5% of his clientele utilize the svecires as described, the other 95% undoubtedly ride down illegal singletrack trails. Plus which I highly doubt the proprietor carries the proper insurance to be conducting such a business in the first place .heck, I'd honestly be surprised if he even has a business license.if you want to ride demo or nisene just pedal up and earn your turns teh same way it's been done for years. If you want to be carried up the hill on a 40 lbs DH bike go to Northstar, Mammoth, Kirkwood, Whistler or anywhere else that offers lift-assisted riding. it's that simple.

        August 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  28. Chaos

    >>>Off camera, you can hear voices in the video suggesting that they're unaware of the historic events that are taking place before their eyes. "They're on their way," says a voice. Of course they weren't on their way.<<<

    Randi Kaye needs to pay more attention when writing stories. Granted, there was incorrect assumptions uttered after the explosion but, the person saying "They're on their way" did so well before the explosion. So, yes, they were "on their way".

    February 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • God

      Someone also says, "they must be up there." Right about the time they were going splat.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • Mona

        ce sont les sie8ges qui sont sur une plateforme e0 rtleutoes. donc les toutes les personnes du rang doivent eatre d'accord pour bouger, un peu comme un banc

        August 3, 2012 at 2:52 am |
  29. larry5

    The escape capsule that was deleted from the original design because of budget cuts might have saved everyone on this flight.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Bob

      ...but almost certainly wouldn't have.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • Judas Priest

        Debatable, but quite likely if they went with the separable, reinforced crew cabin with its own backup power, emergency equipment and chutes. If they had, there is a strong possibility that some or all of the crew may have survived.
        At the very least, NASA would have been able to say that they tried.

        February 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
      • Didja...

        ...ever get your money back from Frank?

        February 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Joe

      It most likely would have. The crew compartment survived the breakup. It separated from the rest of the orbiter intact. If it had had a parachute to slow its decent the crew would have survived. They died when the crew compartment hit the water at high speed.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
      • Ray

        When travelling at 1500 mph you don,t need to decellerate by much to suffer massive injuries.
        Just picture an auto accident at 30mph where you need to wear a neck brace for a month aftewards.

        February 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Jeff

      Yeah, highly unlikely. They didn't know they were going to explode, so they wouldn't have been in it or thought to launch it. Also the gigantic fireball might have caused them some issues.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  30. JWT

    Hardly relevant at this point.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • no

      That's right, you aren't.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Chaos

      Yet you took the time to navigate to clearly described story. So that's how you spend time. Reading stuff you deem relevant and spending more time writing that its irrelevant. Its not nearly as bad as me. Spending time calling out people for being knuckleheads only I stumble across them doing it.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  31. brian

    I remember being in second grade and one of our teachers in the school had tried out for the flight. They brought the entire grade to the open area and turned it on. We watched as it exploded. Our teachers mouths dropped and they quickly turned off the tv. That's when we all realized something was wrong.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Tony

      Wow, i remember the same thing at our school. I can't remember who the teacher was that tried out, but I remember the expression of all the teachers' I sat on the floor with the rest of the students watching.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • Manuella

        Nikon has introduced the ltaset camera that generates high quality photographs and videos employing the best possible color variations, brightness levels, as well as details. P7000 Nikon P7000 digital camera is one of the best products which Nikon has to offer. The digital camera makes snapping pictures simple for you and in addition it includes several manual features that you can change with your personal selection. With this ltaset device, its very easy to take the perfect picture anytime and anywhere.

        April 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
      • Mylla

        Anyone else see a similarity bweeetn Knox's parents, and Casey Anthony's parents? Parents just dont wrap their kids up in cotton wool anywhere else it seems It seems the spolit kids who can do no wrong allways end up implicated in murder It is all good to love your children obviously, but there is such a thing as tough love too.. and showing your kids their are serious consequences for serious actions..

        April 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  32. david

    CORRECTION .....Video is shot from MELBOURNE AIRPORT .......notice the view is CLOSER and EASTERN AIRLINES...is visible on aircraft...
    I live in Melbourne and watched from a few miles from the airport.
    CHECK YOUR STORY CNN.. I DOUBT THIS TAPE IS GENUINE

    February 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Why do you doubt this video?

      Eastern Airlines flew from tiny Melbourne but not Orlando?

      I doubt that.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Why do you doubt this video?

      Plus, straight-line distance from Orlando Airport to Complex 39 is about 46 miles.

      From Melbourne Airport, 37 miles. Hardly enought to be discernible to even a grassy-knoll paranoid.

      Ooooo, but Mr. Karman must be in league with THEM!

      February 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
      • seriously

        "grassy-knoll paranoid" – you're still supporting single shooter? that's beyond bizarre given the evidence. but i found your airport scenario for this story believable.

        February 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
      • Why do you doubt this video?

        "...you're still supporting single shooter? that's beyond bizarre..."

        As Leonard says, when Sheldon gets underway, "Well, here we go..."

        February 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
      • Why do you doubt this video?

        "...that's beyond bizarre given the evidence."

        No, it's a difference of conclusion regarding the evidence.

        "...beyond bizarre..." is a characterization typical of a true paranoid zealot.

        February 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
      • Why do you doubt this video?

        Although, I will admit that, if you look closely at the puff of smoke eminating from the right SRB, you can see Guy Banister and an LHO look-alike aiming a rifle at the field joint.

        And, yes, Jack Ruby WAS in the launch control complex at KSC that day, but the Tri-lateral commission and the Illuminati doctored all subsequent published photographs.

        You win!

        February 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Jeff

      Why on earth would anyone fake a tape of the shuttle exploding? Not to mention, it's clearly a tape of the shuttle exploding, so what exactly is not "genuine" about it? One final question: Why are so many people such morons? That is all.

      February 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • Jenniffer

        We hope everybody in Barbados is atwching world News. 100 million people are short of food. Oil has hit $120 US per barrel. The main food producing nations use huge volumes of petrolium products to enable them to produce products in the volumes they do. Huge volumes of steadily rising petrolium products costs, are also used to move the produce by air, sea and land. The only way we can get away from getting caught up in this bind, is by producing the produce ourselves. Every un-used plot of land, should be made evailable to those who would plant produce, fuit trees, or raise livestock . We can, and must beat this serious threat to our survival. Those who dictate local conditions must stop using such placitudes as Should, ought to, really must' etc. If we want to survive, what we must do now , is fast becoming, . Imperative. Instead, we all live on like happy summer-singing crickets, not believing in the austerity of long dread winters, or that ships and aircraft ladden with endless food, will ever stop guilding our shores. Pues, lo que sera, sera !!!!

        April 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  33. Mike in Dallas

    Eastern Air Lines. Wow.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • This Is Me

      I miss the old "If You Had Wings" ride at WDW...

      February 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  34. Peter

    Engineers asked to delay launch because they had no test Data results to confirm O rings would perform properly at the actual cold air temperatures at launch time (rings would contract as temps decrease). Senior NASA officials over-ruled the engineers.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bob

      And in other breaking news, there's been an accident at Chernobyl. Can you tell us something else we haven't already known for the past 27 years?

      February 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
      • Judas Priest

        Some of these young whippersnappers may not be aware of this, Bob, because it is indeed old news. Well that and NASA's whitewashing and blame-shifting regarding their little, you know, oopsies.

        February 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Steve

      Bob,
      Your reply was uncalled for. I was just four years old when this happened, but I in all that I've seen/read about this incident, I did not know about the overruling. Show a little more compassion next time.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:00 am |
  35. Alexishere

    I hate to say this about such a tragic even but in the interest of fairness....this is a really poor quality video that isn't worth watching more than once. It's making internet waves because it's "uncovered amateur footage" of one of the U.S.'s biggest disasters but it gives you a headache watching the shaking, zooming-in-and-out, then outright cutout. There's a reason most people didn't have video cameras back then – they cost a ton for crappy crappy quality. Sorry again. Not trying to be insensitive to the loss, just honest about the video itself.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Brolando

      You do realize what video technology was like in 1986, right? The iphone has a thousand times better video technology today. In '86 video camera's were larger than most laptops today. For the technology at the time, and being on a bumpy airplane, the video is actually pretty good.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Chaos

      >>>I hate to say this about such a tragic even but in the interest of fairness....this is a really poor quality video that isn't worth watching more than once... ...There's a reason most people didn't have video cameras back then – they cost a ton for crappy crappy quality.<<<

      It cost nothing then to avoid making 'crappy quality' comments and it still costs nothing today yet here you are decades later making them anyway.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Penny Nickels

      It's poor quality video for 2012. But in 1986, home video was cutting edge!

      February 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  36. Rufus Crank

    My world lost some very wonderful people that day. They will be missed.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Andy777

      I'm with you.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • gale

      Yes, we did. I can remember exactly what I was doing. Ironing clothes and watching the launch on t.v. while my two children were in school. I can remember clearly calling my husband at work and telling him and then my grandmother called me to see if I had seen it. I can't remember 20 minutes ago but I can remember that horrible tragedy.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Awburn

      Sad day. I was outside about 100 miles south with my students at lunch. They were junior high students and had no idea what was happening. We went inside and watched the events on TV. I wonder if they remember that day. I think we should remember and honor those who have died.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  37. Paul

    NOT SURE TO UNDERSTAND THIS ONE ... what's the point, we saw those images a billion times and the video does not show much more, but just people dying ... I rally don't get it.
    Wonna remember and honor the astronauts? Well, then instead of watching something u already know, move u lazy behind from the couch, go out and make the Congress raise taxes on the rich and make them pay for a manned space program and so honor the death of these smart and brave people.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Paul's sane side

      Do you people have to throw your stupid left wing political propaganda in everything?? Get a life!!

      February 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Chris

      If I were you Paul, I would invest in some English language classes. Very funny to see that you are the one pointing fingers.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • mike

      I came here to crack a joke about how someone would surely find a way to use this to bash Obama.

      Turns out, someone actually did it.

      Pathetic.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
      • Edwin

        Hi Joshua, thanks for your conmmet, and glad you like my site. I have checked my site out with IE8 are you using a different version? I also checked it out in Firefox and with Chrome. All three work fine for me. What problem have you noticed?

        July 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Andrew Friet

      Paul the Troll strikes again

      February 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Chaos

      While your calling for people to get off their butt to do more worthy stuff, you were sitting on your butt not doing worthy stuff.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Teddy Bass

      Paul the human pud.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
      • Enoch

        I was getting ready to head to class. I had a ptneseration to give on the Faulklands War for my History of Latin America class. The TV was on in the living room and that is when I saw it. I could not believe it happened and was stunned. It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years.

        April 6, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  38. tact

    Ms. Landau, please just turn off the comments function for sensitive stories like this–and consider dumping the comments feature across the site. As you can see here, nothing constructive EVER results from a comments section.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • palintwit

      Who are you? The "Comment Police"? If you don't like the comments, don't read the comments.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • irish man

      Hey tact – COMMENTS ARE CRITICAL. ITS NOT A SENSITIVE TOPIC. WHAT IS SENSITIVE IS DESTROYING OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH. IDIIOT

      February 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
      • Elmeaux

        You know, it IS possible to disagree with someone without calling them an idiot.

        February 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
      • tact

        Here's the thing, Irish. CNN reports news. "The First Amendment" does not require that they give you a place to spout off about the news. They only do it because it increases page views. But by all means, keep hurling abuse and the other posters can keep saying disgusting things about the dead, and eventually, CNN will just lock this thread–or ban you.

        February 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • Hoshiai

        Welch ein Schmach ffcr die USA. Die Geldnot diktiert jetzt auch in der Raumfahrt eine Abhe4ngigkeit von den Russen, an die man frfcher nie ahcgdet he4tte. Nach der Atlantis -Rfcckkehr, die ffcr den 20. Juli vorgesehen ist, verffcgen die USA auf Jahre hinaus fcber keine Weltraumvehikel mehr, die Astronauten ins All beff6rdern kf6nnen. Die Nasa ist dann ffcr ihre Astronauten auf Mitfluggelegenheiten in den russischen Sojus -Kapseln angewiesen. Grodfe Fracht aus dem All kann kfcnftig fcberhaupt nicht mehr zur Erde zurfcckgebracht werden. Amerika ist auf dem Boden der Tatsachen angekommen.

        April 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Greedo

      Sounds like you'd much rather be living in China or North Korea.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Josh

      Those astronauts died to protect our freedom of speech!

      February 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  39. Keith

    Many people don't realize that there wasn't actually a conventional explosion (CNN seems to refer to it that way). What ultimately ended up happening was that one of the supports holding the solid rocket booster to the craft detached, and so the SRB twisted to the side at a ridiculous angle. The resulting shear on the shuttle tore it to pieces, and in some of the videos you can actually see the intact crew cabin.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Josh

      I remember, after the fact, them showing pics of flames coming out from one of the SRB joints (the one with the O ring failure), and blowing fire toward/against the External Tank. If those flames didn't burn a hole into the O2 or H2 tanks, it was shear luck.

      I too remember seeing the intact crew compartment falling from the sky in the TV new reports that repeated and repeated over and over again that day, and always wondered why they never pointed it out.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Scott

      that's actually not at all what happened. Just wanted to correct it, so others wouldn't be confused if they're researching this years later, and this post comes up – like the old VHS tape.

      True reason – related to an SRB o-ring failure related to cold temperatures on launch day – are available in thousands of places on the web...

      February 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • Scott

        my comment was ment to correct keith btw, not the other poster who jumped in same time as I...

        February 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
      • elizabeth

        I remember Professor Feynman dropping a rubber O-ring in his glass of ice-water at the hearings and then taking it out and having it break into pieces. The GROUND temperature at launch was 28F, and the O-rings totally lost pliability below about 36F. Bad design problem, to say the least.

        February 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  40. Jay C

    Seems odd that in the years that video recorders were becoming common, and people flocking to watch the launches, that there were only two private videos in existence for an event that was watched by at least tens of thousands.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  41. Josh

    I find it interesting that the video was edited to cut out the moment when NASA officials remotely detonated the Solid Rocket Boosters. When you watch the video, you will notice a cut from after the SRB's are flying out of control, to where you only see truncated smoke trails.

    NASA has tried to keep the remote detonation function classified, and to this day I have only seen footage of the actual detonation once. It was quickly removed from the site shortly after being posted.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • joey

      oliver stone is in the house

      February 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
      • eric

        Ya, before you ridicule anyone who brings up a point different than the status quo, perhaps you should think about what he said. All rockets be it missiles or with a space shuttle attached have a kill switch that destroys the vehicle in the event that it becomes uncontrollable and a threat to a populated area.

        I think what he's saying is that perhaps NASA had to blow it out of the sky because it became unstable. I don't agree with it, but it's not as laughable a statement as your witless, one-liner comment implies.

        February 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • JeramieH

      They tried to keep it classified, except where it's detailed in the press kit packet for the STS program on their highly public website.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • Umesh

        Vacationing at an Orlando Int'l Airport Hotel or, at a hotel on International Drive, you will be satisfied with all they have to offer you. Vacation in Orlando>>> The City Beautiful>>> and you will enjoy any of the hotel you chose from. I did.

        August 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • mike

      The blu-ray set of When We Left the Earth includes the detonation footage

      February 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  42. Robert

    Everytime a shuttle launches (or when I get on a commercial airliner) it is always comforting to know that the vehicle was built by the lowest possible bidder.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • palintwit

      USA aircraft manufacturers get sub-assemblies built in China. These are then assembled here in the US.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • chris

      Yeah, I just watched "Armageddon" recently, too!

      February 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • JeramieH

      Either built by the government (who has no incentive to do well) or built by a private contractor (whose only incentive is to build as minimally as possible to maximize profit).

      February 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  43. Wobbles

    I always watched the TV coverage of the shuttle launches. On that day, I stayed home to watch instead of leaving for work. After watching several re-runs of the disaster, I realized that I could see a jet of flame coming from one of the boosters, perhaps a third of the way from the nozzle end, impinge upon the main tank. I knew then what caused the subsequent main tank explosion and later at work I opined this to several of my co-workers. One of them, who, like me, had stayed home to watch the launch corroborated what I had seen.

    It still troubles me that it took so long for those in charge of the shuttle effort to publicly acknowledge what was clearly visible during the launch–that a failed seal on a booster allowed booster exhaust to burn through the main tank and cause the destruction of the shuttle and all its crew.

    Moreover, as an engineer dedicated to his profession, to know that the possibility of such an accident was known and discussed at length by the engineers, that the problem was brought to upper management and that upper management effectively ignored the technical expertise is more than troubling.

    The Challenger crew's lives were forfeit because top management deemed making a scheduled launch was more important than making a safe launch.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Sparks

      It's funny how when things go wrong, everyone suddenly becomes an expert. Human nature I suppose...

      February 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  44. Jim

    I saw a report that they would have probably survived the ride where the booster rocket falls off, had it not been for the layer of high wind that they encountered just befor the booster rocket exploded. You can see the smoke trail go up real straight, then bend sideways, before the rocket explodes. The report said that this was what shook the entire Challanger, and opened up the seal, after it had closed, causing the explosion.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • joey

      you should NEVER blow a seal

      February 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
      • Mitch

        Tha't just a liitle ice cream.

        February 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Wobbles

      The main tank exploded and shattered the shuttle. Once the booster seal failed and the jet of flame cut into the main tank, their fate was settled. It is highly doubtful that any of the crew survived for even an instant after the main tank exploded.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • Dave

        Even if they survived the explosion, the concussive blow would have rendered them unconscious, during take off, they are already right on that edge, this would have easily pushed them over. Thus even if they were alive, they were not awake to know it.

        February 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • Kyle

        There was no explosion. Explosions require compressions. The fuel tank merely ignited and disintegrated. There's simply so much fuel in those thanks that the fireball caused by the hydrogen igniting looks like an explosion, but it's not. The shuttle was torn apart by shear.

        February 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • Scott

        data shows that one of the crew member did breath – very likely unconscious – until splash down.

        February 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
      • Clark Nova

        NASA has unreleased audio tape of at least several of the crew screaming all the way down, until the capsule hit the water.

        February 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • JeramieH

        Yeah Clark, except that was reported by the Weekly World News and ignores the fact that the electrical power generators were in a separate section than the crew cabin, so the cabin had no power after it disconnected.

        February 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  45. joey

    youre doin a hellova job , lizzy !!!

    February 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  46. elandau

    Let's keep the conversation respectful and relevant. Thanks!

    February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • keef

      Some freedom of speech

      February 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • JeramieH

      Freedom of speech is a mandate against federal government laws, not private companies or personal opinions.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  47. CircusTrainer

    where is the freedom of speach – why has my account been blocked – controlled media & controlled press is just like every other uncivilized nation of the world – Am I on probation?

    February 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • JC

      Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but feedom of speech does not apply to privately owned websites.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
      • Uh-Huh

        Nor to the WORKPLACE (i.e., your EMPLOYER can legally "gag" your speech). The First Amendment only applies to the GOVERNMENT trying to inhibit your speech.

        Try telling this (and explaining the distinction) to the the average Merkin.

        Good luck, and bring crayons.

        February 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • keef

      Gotta agree with that...speech is only free when no one is offended or have like views....

      February 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • Bob

        Or, you know, when you're in a privately-run forum where freedom of speech has no application or meaning whatsoever.

        February 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  48. elandau

    Hi everyone, we have removed a batch of comments that were disrespectful. Please do not make jokes about the people who died in this tragedy.

    Thanks for reading.
    Elizabeth Landau, CNN

    February 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • joey

      lizzy borden took and ax and gave the comments 40 wacks

      February 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • palintwit

      Are you free for dinner some evening?

      February 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  49. Tom Bobby

    Why would the pilot tell that to passengers right before taking off?

    "Uh, this your pilot speaking, apparently the Challenger shuttle burst into flames killing everyone inside. The flight attendant will be by shortly to pass out peanuts and once in flight we will be treated to the classic comedy Airplane! Enjoy your flight, folks."

    February 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  50. Larry

    I remember watching the launch and explosion on TV when it happened. They must have shown it 10 times in ten minutes and then no more. Suddenly it was deemed too graphic. That was pure censorship.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • billy

      I don't think so. I remember it being on for hours, we'd go into the school library and it was still playing, all day long.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Bob

      What universe were you in? It was replayed constantly the entire day and then frequently for weeks and weeks afterwards.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
      • Messi

        Well, we tried! We were all ready to go for each launch aepmttt. Great work everyone! We are *not* planning to support the Jan 2 launch aepmttt as it will be early in the morning and attendance is expected to be quite low.Stay tuned for information on supporting the next launch in Feburary!

        April 5, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Rubyanny

      | July 7, 2009 That is a feature of the peylar that displays the image before your video starts playing. The only way to prevent this is to not set the image variable. By default the plugin always sets it using the image that is displayed on your blog. 1.8 of the plugin should make that an option as well.

      April 6, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  51. hardwired7

    Still has the power to send chills up and down your spine. Gone but never forgotten.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Thomas

      Without looking it up, could you name all the seven people on board?

      February 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • joey

        i cant remember the chimps name

        February 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
      • James

        Ellison Onizuka, Greg Jarvis, Ron McNair, Dick Scobee, Mike Smith, Judy Resnick and Christa Macauliffe

        There is evidence to suggest that, had the crew cabin not depressurised, the crew would have been alive for at least some part of the descent. Also, Scobee's and Smith's portable air packs had been switched on, suggesting that Onizuka had the forthwithitness to think clearly enough to try and do something. Also people believe that Scobee's 'Roger, go throttle up' is the last words spoken but Mike Smith apparently says 'Uh oh' before it disintegrates. Possibly whilst watching flames creeping up outside the shuttle window.
        James (Australia and Challenger obessionist)

        February 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  52. yup

    I remember when I was 12 and made stupid jokes. Don't worry you will most likely mature one day and people might even like you (yes that includes girls)

    February 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  53. Flash

    The comercial I had to watch was a price line ad about a bus of passengers falling off a bridge. Good taste and impeccable judgment for the Shuttle news story, CNN!m

    February 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Jordan

      You do realize those are random ads, right?

      February 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • joey

        random taste, right ?

        February 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
      • Flash

        If the ads are random, then so much the more reason to not have ads around a sensitive news topic.

        February 24, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • hardwired7

      Use Firefox or Google Chrome and the Adblock Plus add-on...problem solved.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • CircusTrainer

      where is the freedom of speach – why has my account been blocked – controlled media & controlled press is just like every other uncivilized nation of the world

      February 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • Aaron

        Free Speech does not apply to a privately owned website. Stop whining.

        February 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • Uh-Huh

        C'mon, Circus Guy, or whatever. Give it a rest.

        The "freedom" you refer to is spelled "speech," not "speach." Your consistent misspelling shows it's not just a "keyboard error."

        You can only complain about your "freedom of speech" rights if you're yelling at the GOVERNMENT, not CNN or the New York Times. Or even Joe's Bar, for that matter. You have no "RIGHT" of free speech coming any-freaking-where, except City Hall. Maybe.

        Finally (let's hope): I don't think a "poster" or "commenter" has an "account" here that they can then complain about.

        Capice?

        February 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Dr Trout

      They showed the same commercial on a story of Whitney Houston's death. CNN censored some people for lack of taste, but it seems CNN sometimes has no taste.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  54. palintwit

    Engineers and physicists from the world reknowned Sarah Palin University will be studying this video. Sarah Palin herself will bring the popcorn and a big tray of s'mores.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Rog

      Inappropriately bringing Sarah Palin into this discussion says more negative things about you and your apparent obsession than it does about Sarah Palin. You need help.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
      • palintwit

        New website coming soon. You may enjoy it. http://www.all palin bashing all the time.com

        February 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • Uh-Huh

        Well, Rog. Actually, I thought it was pretty funny. :)

        Sarah has sorta become a "corollary" to Hitler in Godwin's Law, hasn't she?

        Godwin's Law: 50% of all Internet discussions that turn adversarial or antagonistic eventually come to something/someone/someone's beliefs/philosophy being compared to: Hitler (or the Nazis).

        The other 50% (in modern-day America, at least) end up bringing up (in no particular order):

        Obama-the-Other (raised as a Mau Mau. In Hawaii. Back when it was Kenyan and Muslim)
        Liberals/Liberalism/Democrats/anyone who can spell "enlightenment"
        God/Gays/Guns (a sort of Holy Trinity)
        Welfare
        Abortion

        Tell me I'm wrong, someone. Huh?

        February 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  55. B

    The orbiter did not explode, the ext. tank did. The shuttle itself broke up due to aerodynamic forces on it, and just so happened to be next to an exploding fuel tank.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • joey

      gee, thanx genius !

      February 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Thomas

      Most people do not recognize the difference between the Shuttle and the Orbiter. One is frequently called the other.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  56. Feel For you

    Dude you are one pitiful person. Mocking God like this. Unless you repent, your life is going to be like hell. And life after death is DEFINitely will be in hell.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Feel For you

      My reply was intended for the "God" dude, not Joe.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • murpis

      @Feel For You
      He is just another Atheist who hates people who have faith in God. He thinks he will become part of the Earth when he dies. I feel for him too because he is clueless about his eternal damnation. Godisreal!

      February 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • Judas Priest

        Jesus just rolled His eyes at you. Go away.

        February 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Greg

      Do NOT feed the TROLL!

      February 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • Troll poster

        Never feed the troll

        February 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  57. billy

    Sally Ride taught a "Space Science and Exploration" class at UCSD back in the early 90s in which she spend a couple weeks talking about her time in the shuttle program as well as her experience on the committee which evaluated the Challenger explosion. It was an awesome class. I wish I wasn't stoned for most of it, I'd remember more.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  58. JoeyE

    you shalt be judged by our lord, God.. you shouldn't be impersonated of using our lord, name is God.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      Then why are they being judged by you? Are you presuming to speak for your almighty? Did someone die and make you pope?

      February 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  59. oh please

    Curious
    Why is it that you can NEVER despite whose video of this event you observe, you NEVER see the Shuttle itself, falling back to earth- NEVER- so, someone wanna explain that- it is not ONCE observed , in ANY video, to actually be falling back down- so....what really happened?

    February 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • obvious

      It exploded.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Paul

      because it's blown into pieces, and hidden beneath trails of smoke and fire.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • George Campbell

      The shuttle would have been very far away at that point. You don't see the boosters falling either. You only see the moisture trail created by them which dwarf them. You also don't see the much larger fuel tank in any videos. Complicate the distance with the fact that there was a large explosion which would have, and did, scatter the pieces far and wide in the ocean.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • bdub

      The government kept it in a hangar for 15 years then loaded it with explosives and flew it into the Pentagon.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      I know right! My guess is that it didn't actually explode. It was a secret mission to colonize the moon and soon the descendants of the challenger will come back for the final battle on earth.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
      • TXJim

        With Newt Gingrich as their fearless leader..

        February 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Jeff

      I exploded into an unimaginable number of pieces, tiny tiny pieces. They recovered a majority of the shuttle in the months that followed and reassembled it in a giant hanger in Florida in order to understand why it exploded. There is plenty of footage showing volunteers picking up the shuttle in the Florida countryside. Stop with the conspiracy theories and read a little bit about what actually happened.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • So obvious

      Like obvious said. It exploded. Debris fell back to earth for almost an hour including the 2 SRB's. The bodies of the crew were also recovered.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • bubba

      It fell right behind the picket fence in the back of the grassy knoll in Dallas, Tx..... right where they were filming the all the fake moon landing shots, next to the secret bunker holding the alien space ship.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Brett

      Actually larger sections of the broken up shuttle ARE clearly visible on plenty of NASA film shot of the event. Just because YOU didn't see them (or don't remember seeing them) doesn't mean they don't exist.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Sigmet

      Most of the shuttle WAS destroyed in the blast (that was a LOT of liquid hydrogen going boom for there not to have been catastrophic damage to the orbiter) – it was decided that only the reinforced crew capsule fell back intact.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Robyn

      The shuttle itself was quite fragile. It could take a tremendous amount of punishment, but only from very precise directions and in very limited angles. Very soon (less than 2.1 seconds) after the shuttle deviated from this very small window where it could operate, the majority of the shuttle was blown apart by the wind pressure of it's own velocity of 1,550+ MPH. The crew compartment did maintain some structural integrity and was tracked visually and by radar until it crashed into the Atlantic.

      The design of the Challenger did not have any planned way for either the crew or the vehicle to survive such a violent event at that point in the mission. The United States simply did not have the technology or choose to put the money into the space program to add that level of safety required to prevent or survive such an event and meet all of the other demands that were being made of the shuttle.

      Simply put, political and financial and engineering and scientific concerns combined and required the program to make a bunch of dumb bets that eventually we lost. The cost were the lives of the astronauts, the loss of a more than 1.5 billion dollar shuttle, and a blow to America's space and scientific progress that we have yet to recover from.

      "You can have it fast, you can have it cheap, you can have it right. Choose any two." - Fred Brooks

      February 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  60. Steve

    Let's be honest about why CNN posted this video - to sell commercials. What a shameful way to make a buck and plug a product - in my case, it was a Chevy Volt commercial that preceded the video.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • tom

      Uh...isn't that true for anything posted on any news website?

      February 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  61. jon

    Thanks to the videoographer for putting Hicksville on the map! It's only about 10 minutes away from me on Long Island!

    On a personal note, I remember the Challenger disaster like it was yesterday. With the teacher on board, all of the classrooms in my elementary school were showing the live footage on tv to the students. As a nine year old, I couldn't immediately grasp the concept of what was going on.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  62. no

    Wow, what a worthless and pathetic person you are.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  63. Jack Youngman

    And they initially wanted everyone to believe they perished immediately. If memory is correct they were most likely conscious during the rapid (2 minute?) descent.

    Unfortuantely, the program morphed into a dog and pony show. It was one of coldest nights I can recall in Florida. I lived on the Central East Coast at the time. It should have never launched due to extreme conditions. I believe an engineer warned them about potential gasket failure.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Joe

      Jack – you are correct. After the orbited broke up, they rode alive in the crew compartment all the way down to water impact. Also there was an engineer at the booster manufacturer that warned them about launching at cold temperatures. He was ignored.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • Amira

        I learned that KidsCraft Playhouses is daetceidd to the health and welfare of children, as demonstrated in their corporate support of children's charities and fund raising activities benefitting The Rainbow House and The Empty Stocking Foundations! Thanks!coolnatty12 at yahoo dot com

        August 3, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Cranky

      The engineer was Roger Boisjoly. He died just last month.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  64. Nag

    u r sick...

    February 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  65. Joe

    This one has been on Youtube for about 8 years.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • YTube Admin

      YouTube has only been in existence for a little over 6 years. Get your facts straight.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  66. Joe

    Also not funny.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  67. inewt

    God has a sic sense of humour

    February 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • billy

      Was Depeche Mode singing "Blasphemous Rumors" in the background? It's from right around that time.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • simon

      It's because you didn't pray hard enough! Damn you.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  68. Joe

    Not funny. Actually all seven of them survived the breakup of the orbiter. They rode the crew compartment down to impact with the water. They died when they hit the water at about 250MPH. If they had had a launch escape system like on Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, it would have been about 20MPH.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • George Campbell

      In a catastrophic explosion as was the case it is highly doubtful any escape apparatus would not have functioned. hence the reason there was not one integrated with the shuttle. The only emergency contingency was several emergency landing locations if the shuttle was capable of sustaining glide long enough to reach one of them. KSC was the first landing location.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • Judas Priest

        It was a calculated risk, a gamble that failed. the assumption was that any catastrophe that would cause the orbiter to break apart would be completely unsurvivable, which many engineers disagreed with.
        In the end, it was an "acceptable risk" decision– dollars versus lives. The window not covered by other abort/escape plans was judged to be narrow enough that the cost of an escape system was unwarranted.
        This decision is a poor one in light of NASA's ignoring of valid concerns raised by the contractors, the engineers, and their very own staff. Twice this type of gambling resulted in the fully avoidable loss of two orbiters and fourteen lives. Before Challenger, NASA didn't even deem it necessary for all crew members to have the superior seats and restraints that the pilots have, or to wear fully pressurised suits with safety helmets during the ascent.
        I'm aware of the expense and the engineering challenges involved, but the last flight of the Challenger was exactly the situation where a moderate escape capsule consisting of structurally reinforcing the crew cabin and providing backup power, additional emergency equiment, and leftover Apollo chutes would have saved lives.

        February 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Blahman

      No, only 3 are believed to have survived as the only 3 emergency packs were turned on during the descent.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  69. Justin H

    The interesting thing here is how the casual observer, not seeing a live broadcast, was unaware of what happened. I can't help wondering if I would have known that wasn't normal.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  70. Joe

    No. NASA stands for Needs Apollo Started Again.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  71. PyPay

    I was the secretary to the engineers at Kearfott who worked on the Space Shuttle. That day the engineers from Rockwell in CA were in our conference room meeting with our engineers. One of the other secretaries went running in to tell them about Challenger. The news cast a horrible pall over the entire building. We went to the lounge where there was a tv and watched the footage over and over. I will never ever forget that day as long as I live.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  72. kim

    they refer to it as new in the video link "New amateur video shows Challenger"...

    February 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  73. Joe

    This is an example of what happens when you let politicians and middle-managers make technical decisions.

    The shuttle was technically flawed from its inception. It had no launch escape system and the heat shield was exposed to damage during launch. Further, it was a failure from an economic standpoint. It never flew as often as anticipated and the price to put a pound of payload into low earth orbit was way too high. But what it did do successfully was provide politicians with pork that they could bring back home to get themselves re-elected. In order to facilitate advancing their political careers, the already developed and superior Apollo-Saturn technology had to be scrapped and this new flawed replacement was developed in its place.

    Then specifically on two occasions the warnings from engineers were ignored. On Challenger an engineer at the booster manufacturer was ignored by NASA management when he raised concerns about the O-rings. You would think after Challenger they would have learned their lesson, but NASA managers again ignored their own engineer's warnings about damage to the heat shield on Columbia.

    Now we can't even put an American in space. But we have the finest politicians money can buy. We need more scientists, engineers and technicians in this country. People who can think and create useful things. And less politicians, economists, lawyers, and middle-managers, who directly produce little of real value and actually hinder productivity.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • so sorry

      you just lost your job as a scientist, huh?

      February 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Joe

      No, as an engineer.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
      • so sorry

        .....basically the same value

        February 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Rich

      My compnay sold equqipment to Hercules Aerosopace,use in making the solid fuel boosters used by the Shuttle. I was doing extensive equipment testing shortly before the Challenger disaster with Hercules engioneers prior to shipment of some equipmenmt to their Magna, Utah rocket plant. One of the engineers was a long term rocket guy and he told me about his conserns that the O ring design was inadequate. It haunts me to this day that the defects were known yet ignored and people were alowed to fly and die in the early Shuttle. I never spoke to the engineer again but can imagine how he felt.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • WolfInTheGreen

      But, you do realize that 99% of politicians couldn't care less about exploring space–the whole purpose of NASA in the eyes of Congress is to shovel pork into their districts. Why do you think that Constellation and now SLS were tasked to reuse shuttle technology? Why do you think that defense and NASA have both have components manufactured and assembled in a hundred different locations, with all the vast inefficiencies entailed? These bozos don't care if the hardware flies or not, so long as they can get reelected. The only reason there is a flag on the moon was the fear that the Russians could get in a free attack from a moon base if we didn't get there first–then we realized how unfeasible that was, and we lost interest...remember the last three Apollo missions got cancelled, and we haven't left low earth orbit since.

      The problem is that support of space exploration–and science in general–isn't a critical issue to most politicians, who'd generally prefer that we just stayed stupid and didn't ask questions that might cause them not to get reelected.

      Pardon the rant.
      witg, engineer

      February 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Agnieszka

      When you say tginhs like Evolution says tginhs just randomly popped into existence or Evolutionists think it's all just a big accident , don't you understand that you are describing not SCIENTISTS' view of evolution, but your OWN? No scientist says It all just happen by accident and such rot. It's easy to create a parody of somebody's actual position, make it look ridiculous, and then claim you have demolished their position. It's much harder to do the actual work of first UNDERSTANDING the other guy's point of view and THEN critiquing it. I have yet to see a Creationist write anything that shows he or she actually comprehends the theory well enough to be qualified to rebut it. When you attack straw dogs like Evolutionists say it's all random and we got here by accident , don't you see you just make YOURSELVES look ignorant?

      April 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  74. Glades2

    After watching the video what came to mind was that this should have been one of those "keep it to yourself" kind of things, since this no doubt will upset many who were directly and indirectly involved in the events that day and afterwards...

    February 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tennessee guy

      I disagree. It was a national tradgedy, and this doesn't hurt anyone. It's just a reminder.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • ChicagoRich

      I disagree as well. We can learn from our past tragedies and things that add to our body of knowledge about those events are of value. Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are destined to repeat them.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  75. Really???

    WOW... That video sent shivers up my spine.. I remember the how I felt watching it on tv; and those feelings just flooded my brain and body again; I remember being at a loss for words.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • MGH

      I totally feel the same, I was in the 7th grade and in Science Class. My teacher at the time for a Retires Air Force Pilot. We all broke down in tears. This was suppose to be a treat for us to watch.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  76. Rev. Schaeffer

    who President Reagan famously said "slipped the surly bonds of Earth"

    That was a quote from High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Kamikaze

      "who President Reagan FAMOUSLY said "slipped the surly bonds of Earth"

      Whose John Gillespie Magee, Jr.?

      February 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • Kane

        The guy who wrote the poem that Reagan was quoting.

        February 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
      • Greg

        That should be "Who is".

        February 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • d

        From Wikipedia:
        John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941) was an American aviator and poet who died as a result of a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire during World War II. He was serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he joined before the United States officially entered the war. He is most famous for his poem "High Flight."

        It's bad enough to have presidents plagiarizing others words, you would think that a writer for CNN would know enough to check their sources and provide correct attribution.

        February 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • thompatterson

      Hi Rev.Schaeffer,
      Thanks for taking time to read the post and comment. Yep, you're certainly correct that Magee wrote the words "slipped the surly bonds of Earth." I didn't write that President Reagan wrote those words. Presidents don't often write their own speeches. But what I was doing in the post was reminding folks that President Reagan said those words to honor the seven astronauts who were killed in the disaster. "Challenger's seven crew members – who President Reagan famously said 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' – perished shortly after liftoff." I didn't want to digress from the subject at hand to mention who wrote the words that President Reagan was quoting. As the president spoke to a shocked nation which hadn't seen an astronaut perish in the line of duty in almost 19 years, Reagan's choice of words comforted many Americans - especially the untold numbers of school children who were watching the live broadcast that day. The tragedy and the national reaction following were certainly one of the most important news stories of the decade. But I'm glad you took the time remind readers who wrote those words.I bet Mr. Magee would be glad too. Thanks again for reading the post!

      February 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  77. elizabeth anne

    I have photographs of the clouds post-explosion from a field trip to the Space Center when I was in the 4th grade. I remember what it was like to stand on that beach and feel so excited to be a kid and see a live launch and then to have the Challenger explode was a tragedy. What we thought was going to be an awesome field trip turned into something I would love to forget. Luckily, I did not have my camera for the launch, and only took pcitures of the smoke clounds as the hung in the air for hours afteward. They slowly disapated into wisps. The school made us see the Guidance Counselor the next day and my mom told me later how concerned all the parents were about the class that went.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  78. Mark Purcell

    I'll never forget that day watching it on T.v> I was angry because I seen the flaw in the other engine while it was on the launch pad. I pointed it out to my brother and said this isn't right the other engine is not right. If I can see it why can't they? 3,2,1 liftoff! I said no! Then it happened and my brother said you were right.! Then for days to come I would argue at the T.V. as news reported the wrong engine. No it's the other side! What wrong with these people it is so obvious look at the fluttering on the pad!. Doesn't matter huh? It was the one who ignored what was going on in NASA or that control room. With that much fluttering there had to be indications of pressure loss. If I seen it, They had to see it. I will never testify differently from what I saw. Shame on who made the final decision to go! God Bless Those in the shuttle Challenger forever.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Melina319

      You're really going to claim that you, a person who is obviously not an engineer/scientist/astronaut, saw a flaw in the space shuttle before it took off? You should be embarassed by your post.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
      • Mark

        If I could see the exact video showed at the time I will gladly point out the flaw on the pad. Of course it is my observations at the time. Grew up in South FL. Don't expect you to believe it. I have seen witnessed and viewed Apollo and Shuttles lift offs. So All I can say is I know I was right at the time. Coincidence? maybe. Experience from my eyes not coincidental. It will never change things when it comes to Aerospace and Politics anyway.

        February 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • ajk68

      You're delusional.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • djb

      Uh, I'm not sure there are words to express how moronic this post is.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • uhhhhh.....

      I may not had seen a english book never, but i knows me some shuttle fluttering!

      February 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Mark

      The flaw was a leak in the O-ring connecting two sections of one of the solid rocket boosters. The boosters don't ignite until after the countdown reaches zero. The leak started becoming apparent only after the shuttle was underway for some time. Go to Youtube and watch any shuttle launch and you'll see that the boosters don't fire until after the count reaches zero.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Blahman

      Wow. What a moron. The only indicator that occured at the launchpad was the puff of smoke that appeared on the right booster between 5 and 9 seconds. There was no fluttering. And there was no pressure loss until it passed Max Q 50-55 second into launch.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • TXJim

      @Mark Purcell..

      Im sure you also told JFK to ride with his top up on the Lincoln.. and he didnt listen... or told Ron Goldman to make sure he was armed when he went to Nicole's that night... or told the Columbia not to re-enter the atmosphere because you saw the hole in the heat shield through your telescope.. or told Tupac to wear his bullet proof vest that night..

      We know Mark.. we know..

      February 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
      • Gil

        Well test him. be very careful with what you say, trust me i would know bscauee i was the guy in the situation at one point. Okay well be cute with him like make stupid obvious mistakes when your with him, to see his reaction. to me it sounds like he has something for you. so keep going for him but to make it obviously you want him to chase you just never forget that when you text if you flirt with him. leave him wanting more.Hope I help! message me ore something to tell me what happens with this guy i will be happy to help

        April 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Kyle

      So you're saying that you can't name what the problem was specifically, but you're sure you saw it? Ok, buddy. I don't doubt that you think you saw it, but we all play mental gymnastics with the things that happened when we were younger. Everyone we ever fought was 8 feet tall and 400 pounds, and every girl we got with was a 10.

      Except it's never true, and it's just us romanticizing our lives. That's cool, just don't do it in public, because you sound like a fool. If you weren't concerned with anyone believing you, you wouldn't have posted it. You clearly like the attention. Now get off it it.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Scott

      There was no fault to the engines, nothing related to the fault could have been observed from the ground.

      In addition it's interesting to note that there are likely millions of people who claim to have seem it explode live, but in reality, the shuttle program had already lost it's news-worthiness, and live coverage was extremely limed to just a few markets – likely only seen by a few thousand people via TV.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Matt

      Mark is a genius. We should put him in charge of Newt's 13,000-strong moon colony project. After he is done designing it, this illiterate "engineer" can become Governor of the 51st state, the Moon. Clearly he is smarter than us and this is what we need. And President Gingrich will need a genius like that for this challenging yet clearly very doable project. PS I love George W., Obama, Romney, Paul, Santorum, and Gingrich. Solve that riddle dipsh!t (that would be you, Mark).

      February 25, 2012 at 3:48 am |
  79. Lonny

    I remember this every TV channel went to coverage of the explosion.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  80. jay aich

    I agree. The angle and the innocence of the family make this video a priceless artifact. And nobody I knew at the time (I was 18 and solidly middle class) had a VHS camcorder.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  81. Luvlar

    Thank you CNN for having the decency, at least this time, not to bore your viewers with a commercial before the actual video.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Ben

      I had to watch a Chevy Volt commercial before the video started

      February 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
      • Uut

        Excellent blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring rwiters? I'm planning to start my own site soon but I'm a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I'm totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

        April 9, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • The Big Boss

      "WHAT?!? A commercial didn't play? There was suppose to be a commercial here! GET ME THE INTERNET DEPARTMENT! Someone's getting fired!"

      February 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Viviane

      All of a sudden, the likes and dlkiises on comments after yahoo articles do not appear on my page. I cannot give a thumbs up or thumbs down. Why might this be? I also cannot see any responses to any comments listed, including my own although under my notifications icon, it says that I have responses to my comments. However, when I click on the notification, it takes me to my comment and there are no responses to be seen. HELP! I really miss seeing how others have rated comments.

      April 6, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  82. John

    "Very few Americans owned video cameras in 1986"? That statement may have been true five years earlier, but in 1986 just about everyone I knew (I was 23) owned a big, boxy VHS camcorder.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Chubsy

      I have to agree with you there John. It may be a minor detail, but blanket generalizations like that are not a sign of good journalism

      February 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • iBod

      I agree with you on that one. My grandparents weren't the richest folks at that time, but even they had video recorders in the 70's and 80's. I'd say the 90's–when I was born–were when it became a common practice, for my parents; and perhaps that is the implication of the author? I don't know. But nonetheless, my grandparents have a lot of "home videos" from then, so I was quite confused by that statement, as well.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • Scott

        i I think someone who had a video camera in the 70's could be described as pretty well off. At least a rarity.

        February 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Bill

      Actually if you took the entire U.S. population in 1986, and what percentage owned camcorders in January 1986, I would bet it was under 5%....probably 1-2% at most. If you grew up in an upper middle class area, sure, more families had camcorders, but the vast majority of families did not. So I would say that statement by CNN is accurate.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
      • Craig

        Would the "entire" population be a correct figure to use Bill?....Do babies own camcorders Bill?......Do teenagers?....Do really, really old people own camcorders Bill? I mean since we are taking away from the point of the article to discuss what percentage of the entire US pop owned a camcorder in 1986, we might as well nit pick this to death.

        February 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Bill

      Don't forget, in 1986, a decent camcorder cost probably $1,200 (in today's dollars)- that was a lot of money for most people in 1986...and still is today!

      February 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  83. Concerned Citizen

    My Lord. Still a disturbing event. It is interesting to see another view though.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  84. phearis

    26 years later, I remember it like yesterday. :-(

    February 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Luvlar

      Same here. My parents generation was defined by where they were when they heard about JFK. For me it's the Challenger disaster.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • Kyle

        And for me, its 9/11

        February 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
      • Andy

        Likewise, it happened when I was 12 years old, my last year of primary school, before the grind of high school (NSW, Australia)....sitting in the schoolyard talking about it with my best friend at the time......... gees it has been that long.

        February 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
      • Kavita

        So what is the future of nasa as of the end of all space shtltue flights? Is nasa still going to be in operation with the space travel and what is the future of the us and the space station ? Is the nasa program coming to an end?

        April 6, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Vic

      I was ten years old when it happened. All the excitement leading up to the take off was incredible. Even more so with a teacher on board. But when the camera zoomed in as the shuttle lifted up and away, the excitement and cheers turned to shock and sadness. It was unreal. God bless the families of those you passed.

      Yeah...like it was yesterday :.(

      February 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  85. Matt

    I like how they call it a "new" video.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Chad

      I read the article again after reading your comment. I couldn't find where they called it a new video. As a matter of fact, the word "new" isn't even in the article.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • Andy

        He came over from CNN's home page where the link says "New amateur video shows Challenger".

        February 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • PU-239

        ^ ^ ^ What Andy said. :-)

        February 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • Chris

        Owned haha

        February 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

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