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The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) concluded that NASA had failed to learn many of the lessons of Challenger. In particular, the agency had not set up a truly independent office for safety oversight; the CAIB decided that in this area, "NASA's response to the Rogers Commission did not meet the Commission's intent". [78]


An overview of the space shuttle Challenger accident as we look back on the tragedy that occurred 25 years ago this week. Details of what happened, how, and the consequences for NASA at SPACE.com.


NASA's space shuttle Challenger accident was a devastating tragedy that killed seven astronauts and shocked the world on Jan. 28, 1986. Killed in the accident were Challenger commander Dick Scobee ...


Space Safety » Archive » Space Disasters » Challenger Disaster » Challenger: A Management Failure. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster was probably the most significant event, in terms of its impact on the US space program, in the history of spaceflight.On the bitter cold morning of January 28 th 1986, seven astronauts on-board Space Shuttle Challenger lost their lives in front of family ...


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Why Did the Challenger Explode? Challenger exploded when an O-ring associated with the right solid rocket booster failed due to cold temperatures during launch. The failure caused the shuttle to break apart 73 seconds after liftoff.


He would soon learn that his worst fears had come true. But as he watched the Challenger disintegrate at the Launch Control Center that cold, sunny January morning, he was baffled. He had predicted that if the O-rings were to fail, the rockets would explode before the shuttle ever lifted off from the launch site.


1. The Challenger didn’t actually explode. The space shuttle was engulfed in a cloud of fire just 73 seconds after liftoff, at an altitude of some 46,000 feet (14,000 meters).


Why? Because hot gasses and flames leaking out of the rocket boosters burned a hole into the external fuel tank and the piece that held the rocket boosters onto the shuttle. Why were hot gases leaking out of the rocket boosters? Because a seal around the O-ring (a piece of the rocket boosters) failed. Why did the primary O-ring fail?


Within milliseconds there was massive, almost explosive, burning of the hydrogen streaming from the failed tank bottom and the liquid oxygen breach in the area of the intertank. At this point in its trajectory, while traveling at a Mach number of 1.92 at an altitude of 46,000 feet, the Challenger was totally enveloped in the explosive burn.