Space exploration has been done for many years now. Different countries have launched different space programs over the years. The US itself has launched a couple of them including the famed Apollo projects. There is one infamous space program that ended in great tragedy. We’re also not talking about just a loss in the financial aspect but people also dying in the process. The project was called the Space Shuttle Challenger. That is the what the documentary is all about that you can watch below. It is nearly an hour but it sheds a lot of insight when it comes to what happened. We’re not going to spoil it too much but just the important details. There are people that prefer to watch but we’ll give a brief summary about what happened and not so much on the content of the documentary.
In terms of the background of the project, the Challenger shuttle was just another plan in the NASA space programs but it had a nice little twist to it. There was a Teacher In Space Project initiated by President Ronald Reagan back in 1984. The objective was to select two teachers from all over America to join the crew of the Challenger. Out of over 11,000 applicants only two were chosen to participate in the Shuttle Challenger. The chosen teachers were Barbara Morgan and Christa McAuliffe. Barbara though was the backup in case Christa couldn’t make it but the former still had opportunities to go to space after other missions.
The Teacher In Space Project’s goal was to have civilians train as astronauts and head to space. The program had initially teachers first so that they could broadcast a lecture from space to their schools. Let’s go back to the Challenger itself. Prior to the day that it was supposed to launch there were two issues. One issue was with the O-ring part of the shuttle. The other concern was that the launch site had cold and low temperatures the following days. Basically the cold temperature would break down the O-ring and it would be damaged causing it to explode.
The launch date was held back for more days waiting for the cold temperatures to go up. The higher ups of NASA finally declared that the launch would be set on January 28, 1986. The engineers still insisted that the launch be held back. The higher ups were not having any of it as the delays just kept the people restless and more money was being spent while the Challenger was on the ground. On the day of the launch several of the engineers still pursued that the launch be delayed. Never the less the launch went on schedule. A lot of people from the US tuned into the television. upon launch it only took a matter of seconds when the Challenger blew up in mid air. It was indeed a tragedy beyond remedy. All seven members of the crew all died. They held investigations as to who would be responsible but leads back to the O-ring. The Challenger was indeed a great loss and they throw memorials for it every year. Every other public related shuttle projects by NASA were held off. The documentary showcases more details so take a look at when you have the time.