NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
A failed O-ring seal in the right hand solid rocket booster & a subsequent leak of fuel was suspected as having caused the accident that destroyed the space shuttle Challenger at the start of mission 51-L on January 28th 1986. As part of the investigation into the accident an O- ring originally slated for a later flight, mission 61-G, was de-stacked, allowing investigators to inspect the way the segments seal once in place for launch. Visible here under study is one such O-ring from the left hand solid rocket booster.
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