NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Wreckage from the shuttle Challenger mission 51-L, showing a 4000 pound, 3. It was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean at a debth of 170 metres (560ft) of water. The burned out area at centre measures 38cm x 71cm (15"x28"). It is thought that the accident was due to a failure of one of the O- rings in a seal on the right hand solid rocket booster. A subsequent leakage of fuel resulted in the explosion which killed all seven crew members. The accident took place seventy three seconds after lift off on 28th January 1986.
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