Challenger's last flight

On January 28, 1986, the 10th launch of the Challenger took place. At the 14th kilometer of the flight, an explosion occurred due to a malfunction of the solid-fuel accelerator and the entire crew died. The wreckage of the ship flew over the vast territory of the Atlantic Ocean.

As it turned out later, the astronauts were still alive when the bow, where they were, was torn off from the rest of the ship; they immediately rushed to put on oxygen masks, but a fall from 20 km altitude and a colossal force (overload of about 200G) hitting the water did the trick.

On the eve of the launch of the space shuttle, the temperature in Florida dropped to an unusually low level - minus 27 degrees. Engineers from Morton Tyokol, a supplier of solid-propellant launch vehicles, asked to postpone the launch of the Challenger, fearing that the cold rings would lose their elasticity and the density in the grooves around the missiles would be broken.

The shuttle's last launch was scheduled for the morning of January 28, 1986, then the launch was postponed to two o'clock in the afternoon due to the fact that minor breakdowns were found that were eliminated by engineers.

In the end, NASA insisted on its own and the start took place. The crew was to launch a $ 100 million communications satellite into space, conduct several experiments aboard the ship, measure the spectrum of Halley's comet, take samples for radiation in the inner compartments of the spacecraft, and study the effect of weightlessness on the development of twelve chicken embryos.

The mission was remarkable in that the teacher Ms. McAuliffe flew into space for the first time. She turned out to be the best among her American colleagues and received the right to conduct lessons for children from space.

Two television fifteen-minute stories about the work of the spacecraft were to be broadcast to the whole world.

The tragedy was also witnessed by the third grade students from the city of Concorde, who flew in to see their teacher.

The presidential commission found that the catastrophe was due to the rupture of the O-ring of the solid fuel booster under the influence of incandescent gases.