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First amateur video of Challenger shuttle explosion revealed.


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#1 GuilewasNK

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:38 AM

I'm sure most users here aren't old enough to remember this, but I remember this vividly.

http://news.yahoo.co...-185802006.html

http://www.huffingto..._n_1333794.html

More than 25 years after the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff, an amateur video of the accident has surfaced.


The newly released video, taken by Jeffrey Ault, and licensed from Ault by the Huffington Post, offers a closer and more intimate view of the tragedy than have other video reports previously released by the news media. Ault was part of a live audience gathered to watch the Challenger take off from the Kennedy Space Center, less than 10 miles from the launch site. He shot the video on his Super 8 home video camera, and it sat for 26 years in a box in his house.


"I was hoping to see an event that I would remember for the rest of my life," Ault told the Huffington Post in an email. "I did. Just not the way I would have liked to. Unfortunately, it became one of those long lasting memories for all the wrong reasons."


The initial explosion happens at around the 1:20 mark in the video. And it's clear the spectators don't grasp what is happening right away, with one person in the background whispering, "Oh, that's beautiful," as the shuttle's contrails split in two and begin descending back toward the ground below.
Shortly after the explosion, former NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt can be overheard announcing from the Mission Control Center: "Flight control is here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction."


And finally, at the 2:50 mark, Nesbitt can be heard announcing that the Challenger has exploded. The video ends shortly after that.


The Challenger accident brought all U.S. shuttle flights to a halt and ignited a debate at the time about whether the shuttle program should even continue.


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#2 G3 Steve-O

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 11:32 AM

I was in 1st or 2nd grade when this happened. I still remember it to this day as we were watching it in class. Amazing that this video has popped up so many years later.
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#3 KaneRobot

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 01:58 PM

2nd grade. I remember that and Halley's Comet making my early elementary school days very space-centric. Strange to hear the people continuing to make comments like "oh, beautiful!" after it blew up.
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#4 jbuck138

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 04:29 PM

For some reason I didn't have school the day this happened. We were watching on tv and ran outside after something happened. I lived around 2 hours from KSC. I remember seeing the line of smoke in the area for an extended period of time. That was a sad day.

#5 pdwayne

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:25 PM

I was 9.
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#6 sendme

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 08:36 AM

I had just turned one about a week before it happened. I don't think I will ever forget the Columbia disaster.
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#7 praxus07

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:01 AM

I was in 5th or 6th grade when it happened. Was out of class watching it in another classroom instead of going to the bathroom like I was supposed to be doing. Remember running back to class and telling the Nun (went to catholic school) teaching my class what had happened.
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#8 IAmTheCheapestGamer

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:54 AM

I forget what grade I was in when the explosion happened, but I remember we were watching it live on tv in the classroom.

I also remember seeing R. Budd Dwyer(state treasurer of PA in 1987) commit suicide at a press conference on tv.

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#9 OnyxPrimal

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:27 PM

I remember watching it. I remember I wasn't in school for some reason (this may have been the time of the Teacher's strike in my elementary years). I was watching TV and thought it was cool to watch a shuttle launch. Then it happened. I was shocked... it didn't seem real. I think I decided I didn't want astronaut after that.

#10 IAmTheCheapestGamer

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:51 PM

I remember watching it. I remember I wasn't in school for some reason (this may have been the time of the Teacher's strike in my elementary years). I was watching TV and thought it was cool to watch a shuttle launch. Then it happened. I was shocked... it didn't seem real. I think I decided I didn't want astronaut after that.

That reminds me of 9/11 actually. I usually got up for around 11am-noon and that day it was especially quiet. There weren't any planes flying overhead like usual.

So I turn on the tv to watch a lil of the national news, go in the other room to make my breakfast/lunch before heading to work and come back in and they're still playing the videos of the planes hitting the WTC repeatedly.

It was absolutely surreal to me. I just couldn't fathom that someone would do such a thing up till that point.

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#11 cheapfrag

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:38 PM

I was in college. Was sitting in the living room of my fraternity when someone came in and told us... went down to the TV room to watch the news before heading to class.