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5 Myths of Challenger Shuttle Disaster Debunked: (see whay you think you know/or don't!)

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posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 10:38 AM
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Myth 1: Challenger Exploded



Photograph by Michele McDonald, Virginian-Pilot/AP


A cloud of vapor engulfs the space shuttle Challenger in a picture taken on the morning of January 28, 1986. The disaster claimed the lives of all seven astronauts on board, including high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, and brought NASA's human spaceflight program to an abrupt but temporary halt. Now, on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy, the story of what exactly happened to Challenger remains clouded by faulty memories and misinformation.

For example, one commonly repeated myth is that Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launching from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "The shuttle itself did not explode," said Valerie Neal, space shuttle curator at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. "I think the origin of that myth is that it looked like an explosion, and the media called it an explosion."

Even NASA officials mistakenly called the event an explosion as the tragedy unfurled. For example, NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt said at the time that "we have a report from the flight dynamics officer that the vehicle has exploded." Investigations would later reveal, however, that what actually happened was much more complicated, curator Neal said.

The space shuttle's external fuel tank had collapsed, releasing all its liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants. As the chemicals mixed, they ignited to create a giant fireball thousands of feet in the air. The shuttle itself, however, was still intact at this point and still rising, but it was quickly becoming unstable


Myth 2: Challenger Crew Died Instantly



The seven-astronaut crew for the space shuttleChallenger's fatal mission smile for the cameras as they leave for the launch pad 25 years ago, on January 27, 1986.


Another myth—popular perhaps because it is, in a way, comforting—is that Challenger's seven astronauts died instantly when the shuttle "exploded." But the shuttle crew was not blown up, nor did they die when the shuttle broke apart. Although the exact cause of death is unknown, many experts now think the astronauts were alive until the crew cabin hit the Atlantic Ocean at more than 200 miles (321 kilometers) an hour.


Myth 3: Millions Watched on Live TV



Myth 4: Cold Caused the Disaster



Icicles hang from the space shuttle launch tower at Kennedy Space Center in Florida in a picture taken during an inspection on the morning of the Challenger disaster

Myth 5: Shuttles Now Have Ejection Seats




Source: news.nationalgeographic.com... 00:01#/challenger-disaster-myths-explosion_31734_600x450.jpg


Well, I got an education today-this tragic anniversary. I got stumped on everyone one.

I do have particular issue and confussion with the last myth (5). While looking for info/pics I came across this site about Space Shuttle seats. What up/ some ATS inside knowledge would be appreciated.

This info was attached to the photo of the ejection seat seen above at Myth 5.

A SR-1 variant was also used in the Enterprise and Columbia Space shuttles. The Shuttle seats were fitted for the landing tests at Edwards AFB, and for the first four flights (STS-1, STS-2, STS-3, and STS-4) in orbit. The Shuttle version had a tilting back to position the pilots closer to the instrument panel while the shuttle was on the pad. This seat, with the necessary pressure suit (the shuttle astronauts, SR-71, and U-2 pilots all use David C. Clark suits) is the highest altitude/ highest airspeed rating in current United States service.

Source link: www.456fis.org...

So after checking all the info at the main source link, how did you fare? Did you know any of these to be actual Myths? Be honest now!!!

edit on 1/28/2011 by anon72 because: (no reason given)

edit on Fri Jan 28 2011 by Jbird because: added ex tags to first quote




posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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Interesting as usual Anon. S&F1

But....


Investigations would later reveal, however, that what actually happened was much more complicated, curator Neal said


What kind of strange and complicated event, if no explosion?


And...


But the shuttle crew was not blown up, nor did they die when the shuttle broke apart. Although the exact cause of death is unknown, many experts now think the astronauts were alive until the crew cabin hit the Atlantic Ocean at more than 200 miles (321 kilometers) an hour


They were still alive, after that huge "explosion" or strange event?

edit on 28-1-2011 by Arken because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by anon72

Myth 3: Millions Watched on Live TV



Lots of kids apparently did because it was going to be the first flight to put a teacher in space (McAuliffe). I don't know for sure if they all watched it live or in replay though as I was home sick with chicken pox that day, which is why I saw it with my own eyes from my front lawn, rather than with my classmates (for most other launches we simply went outside to watch them though as our school was only a few miles away). The article seems to target the adults that day, stating that they were at work and probably didn't see it live. While that may be true, the article seems ignorant of the teacher aspect that caused many other teachers to tune in to it if possible.


Myth 4: Cold Caused the Disaster



I'm also not so sure this one is really a "myth." Over-simplification, yes, but cold was a contributing factor. The article even says so. Saying it didn't cause the disaster is like saying the lack of sufficient lifeboats didn't cause the Titanic disaster; it was also a contributing factor. Had everyone been saved with a lifeboat it wouldn't be nearly the story that it is.


Myth 5: Shuttles Now Have Ejection Seats




They should state that although the shuttles don't have ejection seats, they do have a bailout system that didn't exist during the challenger disaster. It's unlikely they could have used it in the tumbling cabin, but it at least would have given them something to try for.

I do have particular issue and confussion with the last myth (5). While looking for info/pics I came across this site about Space Shuttle seats. What up/ some ATS inside knowledge would be appreciated.

For the original test missions (which only had a crew of two, pilot and commander) they did have ejection seats. Those were taken out though as they were only for test purposes on the initial launches (as no one had ever launched a rocket without first testing it unmanned before) and could not be used to evacuate an entire crew.


Did you know any of these to be actual Myths? Be honest now!!!

edit on 1/28/2011 by anon72 because: (no reason given)

All except #3, though I dispute the way they word the 4th one as being a "myth."
edit on 28-1-2011 by ngchunter because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by Arken
They were still alive, after that huge "explosion" or strange event?

edit on 28-1-2011 by Arken because: (no reason given)

Yes, 3 out of 4 of the emergency air bottles had been manually turned on. They would have lost air flow as soon as the cargo bay ripped off, and that's why they tried to turn on their air bottles. The bottles weren't designed to provide pressurized air though, they were only for pad evacuations, so they would have then lifted up their helmets' visors after not getting enough air from the bottles. If the cabin was still pressurized the residual air would have kept them going. Mike Smith, the pilot, had also flipped some of his protected switches in such a way that it seems to indicate he was trying to restore power to the cockpit, but since the fuel cells were ripped off with the rest of the back end there was no way he could have succeeded.
edit on 28-1-2011 by ngchunter because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


I mind seeing an article in a paper that had stated that the crew has survived the exploded fuel tank and had come down in the Atlantic, there was mention of a blackbox record, and they said the crew had drowned / suffocated in the wreckage, will have to google it, i don't think that this was the case but will see if i can find any link to it.

Wee Mad



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 11:54 AM
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I just wanted to add that I was part of the millions of viewers that day.
Being in the second grade, my entire class watched the launch and subsequently, disaster.

It was a tragic accident that had my teacher crying all day.
Terrible loss.

So I think, since my small towm class watched it, that millions did see it.
That myth is true, in my humble opinion.

As for the others, I don't know.





posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


Thank you for a great reply posting.

I hope more folks read this thread and get involved such as yourself.

Feel free to add more-if you got it. you seem to know things about this that others may not.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by anon72
 


1) The Challenger didn't explode: The side plume from the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) burn-through weakened the rear attach point of the SRB to the External Tank (ET), and also the rear dome of the ET. When these structures failed, the hydrogen tank & oxygen tanks ruptured violently. I don't know what anyone else calls a "sudden, violent release of energy that propagates through the air in all directions strong enough to damage structures," but I call it an explosion. OK, so it was the ET that exploded, rather than Challenger itself, but the explosion destroyed Challenger.

Specifially, the explosion ripped the wings off the orbiter and ruptured the Reaction Control System (RCS) propellant tanks. The fuselage emerged intact from the cloud without wings and streaming RCS fuel from the nose & tail. Out of control, the fuselage turned sideways in the supersonic slipstream and broke-up.

2.) Challenger Crew Died Instantly: Correct.


3.) Millions Watched on Live TV: Not a myth. The article is wrong.

4.) Cold Caused the Disaster: This one is, IMO, stupid. It's like saying an iceberg didn't cause the Titanic disaster, water coming through holes in the hull caused the disaster. No iceberg, no Titanic disaster. No cold weather, no Challenger disaster.

5.) Shuttles Now Have Ejection Seats: Correct, but I don't know that it qualifies as a myth, since I haven't heard anyone say that they do.

All in all, I get the feeling that the author was fishing for anything he could call a "myth" and stretched the truth - sometimes to the breaking point.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 01:21 PM
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reply to post by anon72
 


I don't pay any attention to the challenger disaster.
That disaster happened on my 31st birthday.
The last shuttle disaster happened on my grandchild's
birthday.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 01:26 PM
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What happened to the faulty o rings? I always thought that was one of the leading causes to the disaster was that proven wrong. Either way I still remember the day as it was a very bad tragedy, and a sad day for the nation/ world over. God speed our fallen astronauts to their final destinations they were all and will always be hero's in my mind.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 01:31 PM
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i don't see how or why they would install or use ejection seats on the space shuttle.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by Saint Exupery
4.) Cold Caused the Disaster: This one is, IMO, stupid. It's like saying an iceberg didn't cause the Titanic disaster, water coming through holes in the hull caused the disaster. No iceberg, no Titanic disaster. No cold weather, no Challenger disaster.

I like your analogy better, exactly right.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 03:07 PM
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The O-ring issue (and little else) was the primary cause of the disaster. The contractor responsible for the O-rings warned NASA of the problem in advance, in an attempt to delay the mission... and were ignored.

This is a common practice with NASA. The products and systems are designed by various contactors and their engineers, but then once delivered to NASA, they make their own "adjustments" to fit their own "needs".

For example.. take the first space shuttle launch nearly 30 years ago - the center fuel tank is painted white. That white paint was there in the original design for a reason... to keep the foam from dislodging and hitting the sensitive expanding heat-shield tiles on the shuttle (since, they are designed to be slightly loose before expanding in the heat). Well, NASA decided "oh, let's get rid of that paint" on future tanks, to save some weight.

I'd bet my afternoon snack that Columbia would still be around if they hadn't done that.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 05:06 PM
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reply to post by daraSD
 


With what you wrote, I have to ask. Is it possible the whole O ring story is a cover for some decision that NASA made in doing what you said (Fit their needs etc)?

Same goes for the paint. I never heard that before. Interesting.



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 06:55 PM
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I have no idea why NASA went ahead, after all the O-ring warnings... I'm sure (or, I hope) that if they had known what the real outcome would be, they would have done things differently.

As far as the fuel tank paint, (just my guess) it would have been more embarrassing for them to admit the error, than to resume ordering the fuel tanks with paint... which is why they are still unpainted.


My dad was an engineer with Martin Marietta when the shuttles were first made, and designed several components (including the expanding heat shield tiles, & the first robotic arm, among other things). It's funny to talk about it with him now... he thinks the whole space shuttle was the worst idea ever - that they were "strapping people to that much solid rocket fuel and hoping nothing goes wrong".
edit on 28-1-2011 by daraSD because: miscellaneous

edit on 28-1-2011 by daraSD because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-1-2011 by daraSD because: I am bad ad proofreading my posts



posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by daraSD
 


hey, thanks for that little info about what your dad did and thought.

Very interesting.

Was there any mention of a cover-up of any kind in relatonship to the NASA Mang and the decisions they made? Anyone?



posted on Jul, 16 2011 @ 09:33 PM
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DON'T CHALLENGE GOD.
That's why the challenger shuttle collapsed.



posted on Jul, 16 2011 @ 10:09 PM
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A sad moment in our history.

I first thought that it had exploded because that is what the media was saying. Young and naive at the time. Later in life I would read that not everything was what it seemed.

Coverup? I'm sure there was.


The three black, plastic-coated fabric bags were unloaded, put first into 30-gallon plastic garbage cans, then into the back of an open-bed U.S. Navy pickup truck. The colonel and the guard were still arguing. What if there were a wreck? Can you imagine? Those garbage cans would go flying and pop open -- the thought was unbearable. There are nightclubs up and down the beachfront highway, A1A, that links Cape Canaveral and Patrick Air Force Base, 25 miles to the south. It was now well after midnight, Saturday night. The road was always heavily traveled, and at this hour the standard of driving would not be high. Too bad. The colonel was unswayed. The risk had to be taken. The truck would be less conspicuous, less suspicious-looking, than a helicopter or a more substantial military vehicle, an the whole idea was to avoid the press. And the local examiner. The pickup truck headed out on its 40-minute journey.



On the truck, in the garbage cans, were the bodies of three astronauts from the space shuttle Challenger.


www.lutins.org...



posted on Jul, 16 2011 @ 10:43 PM
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Originally posted by daraSD
I have no idea why NASA went ahead, after all the O-ring warnings... I'm sure (or, I hope) that if they had known what the real outcome would be, they would have done things differently.


If you look at Appendix-F of the Challenger report, you have your answer.


Appendix-F
(Engineers at Rocketdyne, the manufacturer, estimate the total probability as 1/10,000. Engineers at marshal estimate it as 1/300, while NASA management, to whom these engineers report, claims it is 1/100,000. An independent engineer consulting for NASA thought 1 or 2 per 100 a reasonable estimate.)


The independent engineer was spot on.



Appendix-F
It would appear that, for whatever purpose, be it for internal or external consumption, the management of NASA exaggerates the reliability of its product, to the point of fantasy.


I don't think that management exagerated with malice, but they were dealing with something that obviously worked, but which they didn't understand. The thing about the O ring safe factor is a classical example of managers not understanding some important aspect, while believing they do, and then translating that aspect into 'manager speak' which they and their colleagues can use.

Similar to security-induced insecurity.



posted on Oct, 1 2012 @ 03:41 AM
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I believe the myth of the astronauts dying instantly. There is the possibility that sudden G shock may have caused them to black out, but that is just personal speculation, as I don't have the data regarding the speeds reached by the crew capsule after the initial explosion. The crew cabin can actually be seen in that famous video, shooting off away from much of the other debris, and it is still intact. Therefore, if the astronauts were not knocked unconscious, they likely were alive until slamming into the water at a fatal rate of speed. At those speeds, there is not much difference in hitting water or concrete, as the effects are the same.

I beg to differ regarding that cold did not cause the disaster. It was in fact because of the cold that this disaster happened, meaning that if it were warmer, this particular disaster would have been avoided. I am particularly well-versed and well-read in this aspect of the matter, and will attempt to explain my point. A company called Morton-Thiokol was tasked with the construction of the booster rockets used on the shuttle. To make a long story short, higher management were informed that there was a problem with the O-rings used to keep the propellent in its chamber. There are actually two O-rings, as one is a backup.

The company did nothing about the problem, and the night before the launch an effort was made by a group of engineers for the company to stop the launch the next day. MK had a conference call with NASA that night, and despite the warnings, NASA decided to go ahead with the launch. The problem is extremely easy to understand, now of course, being after the fact. But there were engineers who fully expected the launch to fail, because they knew it was too cold for the O-rings to perform correctly.

These particular rings were supposed to function by expanding when exposed to heat and pressure, effectively sealing the fuel tank by expanding snugly against and into the joints where they were positioned. However, since it was so cold, the O-rings became hard. Thus they were not pliable and would not expand nearly enough to close off the gaps in the fuel tank. In warmer weather this problem would not have been an issue at all. So both O-rings failed because of the cold, and despite whether there was an explosion or not, there was a huge leakage of fuel, and everything just went wrong from there.

Actually, on a previous shuttle mission, I believe an O-ring had failed as well. But luckily the backup O-ring remained intact. This was noted by the engineers at MK, but again, management I suppose wanted to keep the deadline that had been set, and didn't want to delay the launch again, for it had already been delayed on previous occasions, if I'm not mistaken.



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