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Faulty seal that caused Shuttle 51-L disaster

Faulty seal that caused Shuttle 51-L disaster

S525/0005

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

This is a photo of the top of the aft segment of the right hand solid rocket booster (SRB) flown on the disasterous 51-L shuttle mission. It shows the seal which is thought to have leaked, causing the destruction of the shuttle, Challenger, and the death of its seven crew members. A ring of yellow putty can be seen at the top of the segment. Below this and separated by a layer of grease are the two O-rings which are thought to have failed due to the extremely low temperatures experienced by the right booster before launch. Photographer ref: 108-KSC-385C-6146/14.

Release details

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