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The coverup regarding the fate of Challenger astronauts

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posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 01:10 PM
This and similar reports have been on the web for at least a decade. I believe, scratch that, I know most if not all of this is true. After college I worked for the US Space Camp foundation. We had a pretty substantial library of NASA info, including the challenger reports. I saw nothing secret or classified of course. Info about the crew was in the report but short and vague. But it did state the crew was killed by impact with the water .

I had various positions..but often at big events I got to escort (babysit) various retired astronauts, especially older ones (Apollo/early shuttle) After reading the report I asked most of them their thoughts/knowledge on this. They all said, that it is common knowledge that the astronauts survived the break up and were killed on impact. Whether any or all were conscious is up for debate, and will likely never be k own. One speculated that higher levels of NASA may have more info about the crew and compartment, but to protect the families from anguish and NASAs image... That would never see the light of day.

I had heard there was possibly a movie about the challenger accident in the works.....perhaps it should be called, "what really happened"....

Looks like it will be BBC science channel..

[] r039s_crew_1720.html[/url]

Another article on recovery. enger039s_crew_1720.html

This is part 5 of a multi part msnbc report on this...good read... enger039s_crew_1720.html

edit on 3-11-2012 by SrWingCommander because: Links

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 02:23 PM
I'm a long time lurker but had to join to respond to this thread. A little interesting tidbit, I too remember hearing the tape on the news and thinking them chillingly real. They seemed pretty legitimate so I searched for the audio....nothing, nada. I couldn't find anything and the only warm lead had a copyright infringement claim posted on the audio.

Of course this leads to assuming a cover up but just a quick check claims Weekly World News hoaxed the audio tapes. Let's keep in mind that Weekly World News is just a tabloid paper, their current issue claims Michael Jackson faked his own death.

The Rogers Commission discovered the use of the PEAPs years before the tabloid article and audio came out.

Leads me to the question, why hide the audio if it's just a work of fiction printed from a bizarre tabloid?

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 02:30 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Thank you, I read the page or most of it and it is quite interesting, how horrible

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 02:39 PM
reply to post by iwontrun

There's not really anything to debunk. The lifting body of the shuttle disintegrated from around the crew cabin due to aerodynamic stresses after the initial explosion injured the integrity of the lifting body, and the cabin continued up for several seconds before it lost momentum and began to fall. It is clearly visible in videos. The crew were strapped in their seats when they were found (I think one had undone their restraint). It was estimated to be in the hundreds of g's at impact. They were basically "gellified".

I don't believe they lived the entire time. The life-support system was basically stripped away from the cabin when the outer lifting body disintegrated from around it. They most likely passed out within a few seconds of the systems being stripped away.

I also don't think it's technically right to call this situation a "cover up". I don't think it's been hidden. It's just not something that's been talked about a lot. However, there are official reports out there that discuss the analysis of the failure, and include what was believed to have happened after the initial explosion.
edit on 11-3-2012 by Valhall because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 01:04 AM
reply to post by Mello

Welcome to ATS! Why indeed hide an audio transmission after the shuttle broke apart? Why indeed not show any portion of the crew cabin at the recovery center or any autopsy reports that determined actual cause of death?

When I was a kid I shot Estes rockets a lot. Some of theme deployed chutes, others deployed "streamers". These were crape or plastic tapes that strung out behind the rocket and slowed the descent so as to ease the impact with the ground.

When I read in the Op's link that lots of wires streamed out behind the crew cabin as it fell, I thought uh oh...

What if the cabin was slowed as a result of these streamers enough to land softer than they say? What if they don't show us the crew cabin because they don't want us to see how intact it was? Anyone got a pic of the cabin post accident?

What if the autopsy was done in secret and the results classified because there was some evidence that the crew landed alive but drowned in the cabin as it sank? That would imply water deep in the lungs, a drowning at sea of at least some of the astronauts.

Just observing...

Though the shuttle had broken to pieces, the crew compartment was intact. It stabilized in a nose-down attitude within 10 to 20 seconds, say the investigators. Even if the compartment was gradually losing pressure, those on the flight deck would certainly have remained conscious long enough to catch a glimpse of the green-brown Atlantic rushing toward them. If it lost its pressurization very slowly or remained intact until it hit the water, they were conscious and cognizant all the way down.

In fact, no clear evidence was ever found that the crew cabin depressurized at all. There was certainly no sudden, catastrophic loss of air of the type that would have knocked the astronauts out within seconds. Such an event would have caused the mid-deck floor to buckle upward; that simply didn't happen.


The cabin swayed only slightly -- a degree or two each way. Behind it, lengths of wire, hundreds of them, trailed like the tail of a child's kite, helping to stabilize it. They were part of the shuttle's wiring harness.

Emphasis added.
edit on 4-11-2012 by intrptr because: link

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:02 AM

Originally posted by wisper

Originally posted by MrInquisitive

Something went wrong, the shuttle broke apart, but the crew capsule remained intact and then crashed in the Atlantic ocean, at which point it was pulverized but remained together because of wires. The crew were likely alive, awake and aware up until the moment of the crash at which point they died instantaneously -- and were likely bug splat.

I read the height they where at they would've passed out.....

Not if the capsule was still partly pressurized, which is what is conjectured. I didn't go into such details, as it was meant as a summary. Also it took to minutes to crash from the time of the malfunction, so they could wake up again, should they have passed out. And they could have held their breaths for a bit too. Never mind that I am just summarizing what the link said, and am not claiming to know what happened myself. In any case, I'm not sure it makes much of a difference.
edit on 4-11-2012 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:49 AM
reply to post by wildespace

I once read they knew the thing was going to blow from the get go. Or something like that anyway.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 03:52 AM
reply to post by marcomichael

They knew there was a chance of something happening, because previous launches had shown evidence of blow by with the o-rings. They didn't know that it would be this catastrophic, because it had never even come close before.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 04:54 AM
I faintly remember the accident happening. I think I would have been a 2nd grader at the time, but the TV was on in the classroom as it happened. Never really gave any thought of how horrific the accident might have been. Being incinerated instantly sounds like a better death than impacting the ocean at 200 mph. Yikes.

When the Columbia exploded, I had the opportunity to be apart of the recovery efforts. Spent 3 weeks in the TX area gridding for debris. Found a piece or two. Luckily for our crew we were in the beginning phases of the breakup in our location. So lots of tiles, some metal pieces, but mostly tile. My most significant find was a piece that held the tiles to the fuselage. Experts said it was a rare find, because they usually disintegrate if exposed to any heat. The rumor's were that further down the debris path, items from the crew cabin were found (CD's, personnel effects, etc). Kinda creepy to think about. Glad I got to be apart of that effort. Met quite a few NASA personnel, and they gave out memorabilia from previous shuttle missions. I even have a section of fabric from the Shuttle Bay liner.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 07:05 AM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Right, and it didn't just "blow" as some folks are saying. The exhaust was blowing past the o-ring seal and impinging on the bracket that held the bottom part of that particular solid booster fixed. It eventually burned through that bracket and the solid rocket booster became unfixed at the bottom half. The booster began to "waggle" if you will, because one end was free now. This led to the chain of events which caused the "explosion", which was the main fuel tank. The explosion then caused damaged to the lifting body of the shuttle, at which point aerodynamic stresses on the damaged lifting body led to the shuttle body basically disintegrating from around the crew cabin. So the shuttle itself never "exploded" just came from undone.

edit on 11-4-2012 by Valhall because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 03:38 AM
reply to post by wildespace

I read the Richard Feynman book. If nothing else, he is inspirational.

posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 03:47 AM
reply to post by wildespace

Seems like they are hiding a boatload. Scary. thanks for the article wildspace.

posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 04:17 AM
reply to post by touchdowntrojans

Seems like they are hiding a boatload. Scary. thanks for the article wildspace.

Please elaborate.

posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 07:10 AM
reply to post by Valhall

I wasn't trying to debunk, I was just making that clear, as some OP get offended if you ask for more material. I had no preconceived notions as I only 9 when this occurred and this had slipped my mind till I read the article. Now that I have read and seen, this does seem like a very plausible ( however horrific) explanation. Thanks again OP.

posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 10:59 AM

Originally posted by Foundryman
reply to post by hp1229
There was no parachute system at the time that could withstand a hypersonic ejection from the orbiter. NASA did try to design a few systems and I'm not really sure if they came up with an effective design. No one ejected from Columbia so I'm guessing no.
True but the crew compartment hit the ocean at 200 Plus MPH. This would be equivalent to other space modules that have successfully splashed into the ocean after a return back to earth. Thus the deployment of the parachute to be controlled during the descent and not during the initial disenagement from the shuttle's main body. I know its a complicated design but just throwing it out there. Parachutes are used on the top fuel dragsters at more than 350 mph. Although there is a big difference between object hurling down based on gravity and mass vs object rolling on a flat surface with a parachute deployed, I still believe that similar to the mars landers and several missiles and/or landing equipment delivery system does make use of the earth's surface topography during descent and deploy rocket motors to slow the impact of the cargo being delivered/dropped. What was the objective of designing a compartment crew that can seperate by itself without having a recovery mechanism during inflight failure? Just curious.
edit on 5-11-2012 by hp1229 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 11:19 AM
reply to post by hp1229

There was no power to the crew compartment with which to operate a "parachute system." The orbiter's fuel cells were physically separated from the crew compartment when it broke apart at hypersonic velocity. Even the forward RCS system was torn apart and the fuel burned. All that was left was the crew compartment itself with no power, which is what the pilot was trying to fix (but his efforts were completely futile).

posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 11:38 AM
reply to post by hp1229

I don't think it was a deliberate design feature. The Shuttle makers didn't build it to survive a disintegration like Challenger's; it remained intact simply because it was the most robust part of the orbiter. For the same reason there was no parachute system like for capsules which are made for coming back.

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 07:13 AM
Kudos for the very well informed readers here.

The 'merciful death' scenario for the Challenger crew and the columbia cvrew seems more an immediate knee-jerk media construct than a deliberate NASA policy falsehood, since subsequent NASA reports made it clear both sets of astronauts survived the initial vehicle breakups [just as the Soyuz-11 crew in 1971 struggled to stop the air leak that ultimately killed them].

I've seen no persuasive evidence the Challenger cabin kept airtightness, and the arguments that it did -- eg, that the floor would have buckled if it had decompressed, or the recovered remains show no sign of decompression -- are unimpressive. The condition of both the vehicle fragments and of the body fragments [after weeks of scavenging by sea life] were too degraded for any such conclusions.

Also, as the crew cabin came loose from the PLB equipment, significant piping was torn free that provided ample air flow opportunities for a rapid loss of pressure. The PEAPs [which were AIR flow, not oxygen flow, units] provided no pressurization ability. And the naive suggestion that a person could 'hold his breath' against a near-vacuum is, well, to be generous, just naive.

The question of whether the crew would have regained consciousness as the altitude dropped is more interesting, and horrifying. As far as I know, NASA never reproduced the pressure profile in chambers at Brooks or elsewhere, seeming to want to NOT know of any such possibilities. My suggestions to my news media clients to reproduce the profile on volunteer subjects [myself on the list] never got anywhere.

The 'space docs' I trust have assured me that the process of regaining consciousness after an episode of near vacuum is gradual -- involving many minutes. For my peace of mind, I've chosen to believe them.

The rumors of post-break-up messages don't deal with radio transmissions, since all power was cut off at the moment of breakup. They involve a suggestion that one of the crew had a battery-powered voice recorder running, inside their pocket, to get ascent commentary, a recording which [per rumor] was deemed the private property of that crewmember's heirs, and turned over to them after determining there was nothing on it germane to the accident investigation.

These are still issues to be discussed, in the degree that social and professional media sugar-coated the event, and agencies involved observed privacy requirements for the next-of-kin of the victims.

But culturally, I've found space workers [as I was for decades] e a loose-lipped and gossipy lot who have never been accustomed to, or agreeable to, keeping secrets, on this or any other topics.

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 12:04 PM
reply to post by wildespace

I'm really lost on this one. What's the motivation for hiding the truth here. If the bodies did hit the water semi-intact what's the reason for not copping to that? Can anyone help me understand motivation here. I just can't go along with this. It looked like a pretty arn big explosion to me as well. Sure bodies could remain intact to some degree with that?

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 01:55 PM
reply to post by touchdowntrojans

It want that the bodies were intact, it was that the astronauts were conscious at impact. They survived the breakup but there were no measures in place to save them after. That is why the cover up.

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