73 seconds into flight.....(Challenger Disaster)

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  1. #51
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    In the late 70's and early 80's my pops worked on Columbia and Challenger. We even were sent to Florida twice for about six months each time so he could train guys at their Rockwell site.

    I have tiles from each of them after they returned from space in pre-billion dollar bottle rocket condition.
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  2. #52
    That's awesome right there. Hang onto those.

    Originally Posted by SoCaliSooner View Post
    In the late 70's and early 80's my pops worked on Columbia and Challenger. We even were sent to Florida twice for about six months each time so he could train guys at their Rockwell site.

    I have tiles from each of them after they returned from space in pre-billion dollar bottle rocket condition.

  3. #53
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    i was less than a yea rold

  4. #54
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    Originally Posted by SoCaliSooner View Post
    In the late 70's and early 80's my pops worked on Columbia and Challenger. We even were sent to Florida twice for about six months each time so he could train guys at their Rockwell site.

    I have tiles from each of them after they returned from space in pre-billion dollar bottle rocket condition.
    I have a friend who may or may not have recovered a small piece of Columbia from his farm in Nacogdoches TX.

  5. #55
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    Originally Posted by SiggyPoke View Post
    Challenger: I was in eight grade English class when the school announced it over the loud speaker.
    Columbia: Getting ready to head to work.

    I think the reason people remember the Challenger disaster more is one, people watch a launch more than landings and two, there was a first in having a teacher on board.
    And, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there pressure to launch Challenger so it could be mentioned in either the SOTU speech or something like that?

  6. #56
    That I'm not aware of. If you really think about it (as tragic as these disasters were), I'd say NASA did a pretty damn good job with the shuttle program considering there were only two disasters out of all the missions flown.

    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    And, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there pressure to launch Challenger so it could be mentioned in either the SOTU speech or something like that?

  7. #57
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    73 seconds into flight.....(Challenger Disaster)

    I was in the sixth grade, like coach. At the time, children in the gifted program where bus to the resource center for most of the day once a week, & that happened to be the day we were gone. We didn't know anything about the explosion until we came back to school. A couple of teachers, including my mother, were at the door waiting for us when we arrived back at school, which they never did, so we immediately knew something was up. We spent the rest of the day with all of the other sixth-graders in my mom's classroom watching TV. Because my parents were both in education, my family had intently watched everything about program. Such a sad day.

  8. #58
    You made me realize I mistyped my grade. I was in fourth, not eight.

    Originally Posted by McRib View Post
    I was in the sixth grade, like coach. At the time, children in the gifted program where bus to the resource center for most of the day once a week, & that happened to be the day we were gone. We didn't know anything about the explosion until we came back to school. A couple of teachers, including my mother, were at the door waiting for us when we arrived back at school, which they never did, so we immediately knew something was up. We spent the rest of the day with all of the other sixth-graders in my mom's classroom watching TV. Because my parents were both in education, my family had intently watched everything about program. Such a sad day.

  9. #59
    Freshman year at OSU. Had been in class. Came back and all the guys in the house were watching it on tv.

  10. #60
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    Originally Posted by SiggyPoke View Post
    That I'm not aware of. If you really think about it (as tragic as these disasters were), I'd say NASA did a pretty damn good job with the shuttle program considering there were only two disasters out of all the missions flown.
    Then maybe it was Reagan having a speech planned that night for the Teacher In Space program. I know there was something going on that pressured them to launch even against the advice of the experts.

    Yes, they did a great job but also both were avoidable in some way.

  11. #61
    Sixth grade watching in the school cafeteria.

  12. #62
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    It was a sad thing to witness via television from the seat of my classroom

  13. #63
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    Originally Posted by Aurora View Post
    It was a sad thing to witness via television from the seat of my classroom
    Think how sad the view from a ****pit seat was.

  14. #64
    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    Think how sad the view from a ****pit seat was.
    It actually was probably pretty awesome. Just wouldn't have lasted long.

  15. #65
    8th grade math class. Myrtle Clingenpeel was the teacher. There was an announcement over the intercom.

  16. #66
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    Originally Posted by RockFlagandEagle View Post
    It actually was probably pretty awesome. Just wouldn't have lasted long.
    I figure they never knew what happened.

  17. #67
    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    I figure they never knew what happened.
    If I remember correctly the last word heard from the transmission was "huh-oh"....or something like that.

  18. #68
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    Originally Posted by RockFlagandEagle View Post
    If I remember correctly the last word heard from the transmission was "huh-oh"....or something like that.
    They may have seen something was amiss but usually in a pressurized situation like that it's over fast. Hitting the water at hundreds of miles an hour would have been like hitting concrete. I believe the escape pod/****pit was fairly intact.

  19. #69

    73 seconds into flight.....(Challenger Disaster)

    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    They may have seen something was amiss but usually in a pressurized situation like that it's over fast. Hitting the water at hundreds of miles an hour would have been like hitting concrete. I believe the escape pod/****pit was fairly intact.
    Was unaware. You don't think they saw any of the explosion? That's what I was thinking would have been pretty amazing to witness.

  20. #70

    73 seconds into flight.....(Challenger Disaster)

    3rd grade. Class liar comes in and tells us the shuttle exploded. None of us believed him until the teacher corroborated. We sat in the library watching the rest of the day.

  21. #71
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    Originally Posted by RockFlagandEagle View Post
    Was unaware. You don't think they saw any of the explosion? That's what I was thinking would have been pretty amazing to witness.
    NASA has ****pit audio recordings that show some if not all of the astronauts were alive until they hit the water. Those will likely never be released...

  22. #72
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  23. #73
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    Originally Posted by acheman8 View Post
    NASA has ****pit audio recordings that show some if not all of the astronauts were alive until they hit the water. Those will likely never be released...
    Didn't know that. Ouch.

  24. #74
    I was in 3rd grade at Parmalee Elem School. Dang I'm old.

  25. #75
    Freshman in high school... learned about it at lunchtime at the convenience store we all went do across the street. Dismayed at first by the tragedy ... then again by the callous jokes some of my schoolmates began telling in the same lunch break.

  26. #76
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    NASA has ****pit audio recordings that show some if not all of the astronauts were alive until they hit the water. Those will likely never be released...
    This is only half correct.

    The last communication from the ****pit was the CDR saying "Uh-oh." But there is no audio recorded after that. There's no nothing recorded after that, as NASA lost all data from Challenger roughly 1 second after the break-up.

    But the crew was mostly likely alive until they hit the water.

    As you may already know, Challenger didn't "explode"... the center fuel tank exploded, which threw the Challenger into the Mach 2+ wind stream, which tore it apart. The crew compartment was intact from the break-up until it hit the water, meaning that - yes - the crew was most likely killed by the impact with the water, not the break-up.

    However, it's highly unlikely the crew was conscious for more than the first minute after the break up.

    The reason is that the breakup happened at roughly 45,000 feet. The debris (including the crew compartment) then continued on upward trajectory to roughly 65,000+ feet before falling back to the Atlantic, meaning if the cabin lost pressurization (extremely likely) then the crew would have lost consciousness very quickly at those extreme altitudes -- most likey in just few seconds.
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  27. #77
    Originally Posted by oSuJeff97 View Post
    This is only half correct.

    The last communication from the ****pit was the CDR saying "Uh-oh." But there is no audio recorded after that. There's no nothing recorded after that, as NASA lost all data from Challenger roughly 1 second after the break-up.

    But the crew was mostly likely alive until they hit the water.

    As you may already know, Challenger didn't "explode"... the center fuel tank exploded, which threw the Challenger into the Mach 2+ wind stream, which tore it apart. The crew compartment was intact from the break-up until it hit the water, meaning that - yes - the crew was most likely killed by the impact with the water, not the break-up.

    However, it's highly unlikely the crew was conscious for more than the first minute after the break up.

    The reason is that the breakup happened at roughly 45,000 feet. The debris (including the crew compartment) then continued on upward trajectory to roughly 65,000+ feet before falling back to the Atlantic, meaning if the cabin lost pressurization (extremely likely) then the crew would have lost consciousness very quickly at those extreme altitudes -- most likey in just few seconds.
    Good work. For their sake I hope this was true.
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  28. #78
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    Originally Posted by RockFlagandEagle View Post
    Good work. For their sake I hope this was true.
    Sort of like the way Payne Stewart died.

  29. #79
    Originally Posted by oSuJeff97 View Post
    This is only half correct.

    The last communication from the ****pit was the CDR saying "Uh-oh." But there is no audio recorded after that. There's no nothing recorded after that, as NASA lost all data from Challenger roughly 1 second after the break-up.

    But the crew was mostly likely alive until they hit the water.

    As you may already know, Challenger didn't "explode"... the center fuel tank exploded, which threw the Challenger into the Mach 2+ wind stream, which tore it apart. The crew compartment was intact from the break-up until it hit the water, meaning that - yes - the crew was most likely killed by the impact with the water, not the break-up.

    However, it's highly unlikely the crew was conscious for more than the first minute after the break up.

    The reason is that the breakup happened at roughly 45,000 feet. The debris (including the crew compartment) then continued on upward trajectory to roughly 65,000+ feet before falling back to the Atlantic, meaning if the cabin lost pressurization (extremely likely) then the crew would have lost consciousness very quickly at those extreme altitudes -- most likey in just few seconds.
    Wow. Learn something new every day, even 27 years later.

  30. #80
    maybe acheman worked for nasa and saw the tapes with his own eyes.....

  31. #81
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    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    Sort of like the way Payne Stewart died.
    The difference is that Payne Stewart and the people on his plane would have died from hypoxia, as his plane flew for several hours on autopilot at high altitude after losing cabin pressurization before it crashed after running out of fuel.

    In the case of Challenger, the crew wasn't exposed to extreme attitude long enough to die from hypoxia -- they were just there long enough to be (luckily) rendered unconscious for the ~3 minute fall to the Atlantic.
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  32. #82
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    Originally Posted by oSuJeff97 View Post
    The difference is that Payne Stewart and the people on his plane would have died from hypoxia, as his plane flew for several hours on autopilot at high altitude after losing cabin pressurization before it crashed after running out of fuel.

    In the case of Challenger, the crew wasn't exposed to extreme attitude long enough to die from hypoxia -- they were just there long enough to be (luckily) rendered unconscious for the ~3 minute fall to the Atlantic.
    Well that sent me to Wikipedia. Thanks for pointing out the difference.

  33. #83
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    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    Well that sent me to Wikipedia. Thanks for pointing out the difference.
    The "Destroyed in Seconds" show about Challenger was really fascinating.

    It really goes into detail about how and why the O-ring system failed and even talks about how the weather that particular day (beyond the cold) even played a role.

    For example, while the rubber/plastic O-ring was the main culprit, the engineers figured out that the heat after launch had essentially "melted" some sort of metal ring structure around the O-ring that mostly sealed off the leak. However, at around 20 seconds into the flight, Challenger hit a major area of wind shear that created major horizontal acceleration forces... basically a massive area of clear-air turbulence. That massive horizontal jolt essentially knocked loose the makeshift "weld" that had been created and the whole thing broke apart about 20 seconds later.

    Had they not hit that turbulence, they have theorized that the weld probably would have held long enough to make to SRB burn-out, separation and everything would have been fine. (They had already passed through Max-Q, or the area of greatest aerodynamic load on the air frame when the center fuel tank ruptured.)

    The crazy thing is that no shuttle before or since has hit by that amount of clear-air turbulence during lift-off. (Part of that is the improved forecasting of CAT, but still...)

  34. #84
    Are you kidding me? That's nuts.

    Originally Posted by acheman8 View Post
    NASA has ****pit audio recordings that show some if not all of the astronauts were alive until they hit the water. Those will likely never be released...

  35. #85
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    Originally Posted by oSuJeff97 View Post
    The "Destroyed in Seconds" show about Challenger was really fascinating.

    It really goes into detail about how and why the O-ring system failed and even talks about how the weather that particular day (beyond the cold) even played a role.

    For example, while the rubber/plastic O-ring was the main culprit, the engineers figured out that the heat after launch had essentially "melted" some sort of metal ring structure around the O-ring that mostly sealed off the leak. However, at around 20 seconds into the flight, Challenger hit a major area of wind shear that created major horizontal acceleration forces... basically a massive area of clear-air turbulence. That massive horizontal jolt essentially knocked loose the makeshift "weld" that had been created and the whole thing broke apart about 20 seconds later.

    Had they not hit that turbulence, they have theorized that the weld probably would have held long enough to make to SRB burn-out, separation and everything would have been fine. (They had already passed through Max-Q, or the area of greatest aerodynamic load on the air frame when the center fuel tank ruptured.)

    The crazy thing is that no shuttle before or since has hit by that amount of clear-air turbulence during lift-off. (Part of that is the improved forecasting of CAT, but still...)
    Interesting. Is that from the series on the Discovery Channel?

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/11031097/n.../#.UQmDsmccQ_w

  36. #86
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    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    Interesting. Is that from the series on the Discovery Channel?

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/11031097/n.../#.UQmDsmccQ_w
    Discovery or History or maybe the Science Channel... I can't remember which.

    Also -- related to that wind sheer thing I noted above... you can see the area of strong CAT/wind sheer in this image of Challenger's contrail. Note the area where the contrail suddenly veers horizontal.


  37. #87
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    Originally Posted by oSuJeff97 View Post
    Discovery or History or maybe the Science Channel... I can't remember which.

    Also -- related to that wind sheer thing I noted above... you can see the area of strong CAT/wind sheer in this image of Challenger's contrail. Note the area where the contrail suddenly veers horizontal.

    I'm wondering if the WS was just a problem this particular day or if it presents an issue all the time. I know they don't fly when it's around so I wonder about something like this.

  38. #88
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    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    I'm wondering if the WS was just a problem this particular day or if it presents an issue all the time. I know they don't fly when it's around so I wonder about something like this.
    There's no space shuttles that currently suffer from wind shear.

  39. #89
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    Originally Posted by LASooner View Post
    There's no space shuttles that currently suffer from wind shear.
    They meaning airplanes.

  40. #90
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    I had a physics professor tell me that a couple had actually survived long enough to drown. Really doubt anything would survive the impact but hey, it sounds tragic

  41. #91
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    Originally Posted by Peach Fuzz View Post
    I had a physics professor tell me that a couple had actually survived long enough to drown. Really doubt anything would survive the impact but hey, it sounds tragic

    Yeah... there's no way they would have survived the impact. The cabin crew hit the water at a terminal velocity of around 200 mph. That translated to a deceleration force of roughly 200 Gs. That kind of force shatters every bone in your body, liquefies internal organs and probably causes some massive limb-loss trauma.

  42. #92
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    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    I'm wondering if the WS was just a problem this particular day or if it presents an issue all the time. I know they don't fly when it's around so I wonder about something like this.
    Normally, they have a good idea if/when to expect turbulence... like the obvious times when storms or a frontal boundary is near. Those were pretty easy to predict with normal weather radar and surface observations and they obviously wound't launch a shuttle in those conditions.

    But predicting potential areas of clear-air turbulence, like what Challenger hit, takes complex computer modeling, which was in its infancy in 1986. There's pretty much no way that they could have predicted the massive wind shear that Challenger hit at around 30,000 feet on a clear day with no clouds. All surface and radar observations at the time were showing a good day to fly.

    Here's an example of a modern CAT forecast from NOAA. If this technology would have been available in 1986, something like that red/orange area situated over Baja Mexico, southern Arizona and southern New Mexico would have been situated directly over Florida, and they wouldn't have launched.


  43. #93
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    I always remember that one plane that crashed to to wind shear. I know it was a while ago. Wasn't it around Dallas?

  44. #94
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    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    I always remember that one plane that crashed to to wind shear. I know it was a while ago. Wasn't it around Dallas?
    There was a Delta flight that crashed on approach to D/FW some time in the 1980s.

    IIRC, that was low-level wind shear (LLWS) related to a micro-burst from a thunderstorm.

  45. #95
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    Originally Posted by oSuJeff97 View Post
    There was a Delta flight that crashed on approach to D/FW some time in the 1980s.

    IIRC, that was low-level wind shear (LLWS) related to a micro-burst from a thunderstorm.
    Right. I didn't know it was that long ago.

  46. #96
    Originally Posted by BigHeadSmashStuff View Post
    I was in 2nd grade in Muskogee. They brought our class into the library to watch it. I just remember thinking what the hell just happened. Messed up thing about it was that it had already happened and the teachers knew it exploded. I guess they wanted us to see it for some reason. Still not sure why
    So they could watch it!!!

  47. #97
    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    Right. I didn't know it was that long ago.
    I had just landed about 30 minutes before and was going through the pay booths in a taxi when it happened. It was raining so hard you could not see the hood of the taxi....

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