History Channel team finds large piece of space shuttle Challenger on ocean floor
A big piece of NASA's fallen space shuttle Challenger has been discovered on the ocean floor by a team searching for a downed WWII-era aircraft for The History Channel.
One the largest pieces of NASA's fallen space shuttle Challenger has been discovered on the ocean floor by a TV documentary team searching for a downed World War II aircraft.
The artifact (opens in new tab), which today remains where it was found by the crew filming The History Channel's new series "The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters," was positively identified by NASA based upon the item's modern construction and presence of 8-inch (20 centimeters) square thermal protection (heat shield) tiles. The segment of Challenger was found in waters off Florida's Space Coast, well northwest of the area popularly known as the Bermuda Triangle.
"This discovery gives us an opportunity to pause once again, to uplift the legacies of the seven pioneers we lost and to reflect on how this tragedy changed us," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement issued (opens in new tab) on Thursday (Nov. 10). "While it has been nearly 37 years since seven daring and brave explorers lost their lives aboard Challenger, this tragedy will forever be seared in the collective memory of our country. For millions around the globe, myself included, Jan. 28, 1986, still feels like yesterday."
The search for Challenger
The space shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its 25th launch after seals in one of the vehicle's two solid rocket boosters failed. NASA's STS-51L crew (opens in new tab), including commander Francis "Dick" Scobee, pilot Mike Smith, mission specialists Ron McNair, Ellison Onizuka and Judy Resnik, payload specialist Greg Jarvis and Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe were killed in the aftermath of the malfunction.