Shuttle Challenger Explosion [New Copy Found; Better Quality]

In July 2017 What You Haven't Seen launched by publishing the complete surveillance camera footage from the crash of Asiana 214 at San Francisco International Airport. In the time since, I am proud to have published hundreds of other significant exclusives, but despite all that, I never thought that I would find this.

CNN has a copy of their Challenger launch broadcast footage. It's available on CNN's own YouTube channel, and it understandably has millions of views. CNN's upload is a 360p video whose content is similar to what you see here — with three major differences: (1) this version is of substantially higher quality, (2) this version doesn't have any CNN branding, and (3) this version continues NASA's feed longer than CNN showed on air.

This is a direct copy of NASA's broadcast feed. It was saved by NASA, and at some point a copy was transferred to the United States Geological Survey on a VHS tape. This video is a digitization of that tape; as far as I know, this is the first time it is being shown publicly.

100+ comentarios:

Chantal Solorzano
Chantal Solorzano:
Watching the footage before they took off gives me chills.
Everything Republican
Everything Republican:
Just for some backup info, Roger Boisjoly was in charge of making sure the challenger had no issues.
He highly advised against the challenger program and when he explained that the O-rings would not fare well in cold weather, the higher ups disregarded him and continued to launch the shuttle even though it was too cold for it to work properly.

The challenger was a failure due to the ignorance of the managers in charge of the project.

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What a tragic event in NASA's history. You can hear the cry and sadness in the narrator's voice at 6:06. He is professionally calm but can only imagine how he is feeling seeing his colleague's rocket exploded in mid air. Absolutely devastating.
The amount of people forgetting that the teacher wasn’t the only person who died on the Challenger is crazy
This makes me so sad and mad. NASA KNEW what it was unsafe to fly but they cared more about the schedule than the lives of everyone on board. And this teacher wanted to teach kids about space in space and this footage is disturbing and the people didint even know until after that they had died. The people on the flight were so happy before... I’m crying
Jason Baumgartner
Jason Baumgartner:
One thing I want to add here -- during the launch, many of the flight crews' friends and family were present watching. When the shuttle exploded, most of them were unaware of what just happened. There was confusion among many of them since the SRBs were still lit and traveling, but a few of the people in the stands had been to multiple launches and new immediately what had happened. The realization of the tragedy didn't really sink in for many of them for several minutes since they were suffering from confusion and then shock.
The fact they didn't die until they hit the water makes it more scary. (They were all found crushed inside the cabin) so they knew they were about to die for around 3 minutes
Roel Jude
Roel Jude:
I still get extreme anxiety whenever I even try to think of this incident, it was truly a horrible tragedy. Even tho it's been years I hope the families and all who are affected are at peace
Justin Bell
Justin Bell:
I was born 22yrs after the crash but My heartfelt condolences still goes out to All the family members who last their love one's in this very tragic accident
Venkman Stantz Spengler
Venkman Stantz Spengler:
I will never not be angry over the fact that NASA essentially sent this crew to their fate *knowing* they’d been warned not to launch that morning due to the weather and the O-rings.
Outdoors Embrace
Outdoors Embrace:
So the large heavy booster had an explosion hit it, causing it to explode. The main shuttle continued up somewhat intact for a few seconds, then started hurtling down to the water below. They were at 54K feet. The cockpit was depressurized. 3 of them activated their PEAPs within 10 seconds after the main explosion. PEAPs were rated for 25K though and were not pressurized. They probably all lost conciousness sometime after 10 seconds of the start of depressurization. After 2 mins and so seconds, they cockpit hit the water at 200 MPH; this is the moment they all died. Conscious or Unconscious, we don't completely know. But some doctors online think they could still have been awake awaiting their death.
Christa McAuliffe’s parents and students had to witness this live … the confusion on their face when the shuttle first exploded was heartbreaking, not horror or devastation, just helpless incomprehension of what was happening.
The Shuttle didn't have an abort option where the crew cabin could separate from the rest of the craft. It was too complex and added 9 tons of weight and compromised its payload capacity. This meant it was in a way the least safe spacecraft of all. Both space shuttle tragedies might have just been avoided if this option was available.
The crew of the Challenger will never be forgotten. May they forever rest in peace and in our hearts. 🙏🏻
Eddybeans Gaming
Eddybeans Gaming:
it’s so weird knowing that the crew had no idea what would happen to them. it’s so disturbing. they’re sitting there smiling when it’s the last hours of their lives.
Kevin Dawson
Kevin Dawson:
I am surprised how strong my reaction is to this 35 years after the fact. I was days away from my 7th birthday and watched it live on TV as an entire school full of excitement turned to confused, stunned silence. Rest in peace, brave pioneers.
Trap Koala
Trap Koala:
RIP to all the lives lost on this tragic day.
Ellison Onizuka is from Hawaii and as a child I met his sister at the “Challenger Center”, where they teach kids how to be astronauts for a day. She told us about Ellison and what happened on that day, at the time I couldn’t understand why she seemed so strict. Years later I think I finally do.
I was 8 when this happened, we were all watching it at school because a teacher was going to space. It was going to be such a fun time, where she was going to teach from space. This was a major shock, we thought the shuttles were pretty much safe back then and things like this didnt happen anymore. We hadnt lost anyone to space exploration for so long, we didnt know if they would stop going to space after this. When it happened again in 2003, I felt that same sadness but it wasnt as big of a shock because by that point we knew the shuttles had flaws and it was a risk to use them.
I recently learned about the Challenger. I’ve heard stories from my family but I never knew what really happened until I read “We Dream of Space” which is a historical fiction about three siblings, one of them of was named Bernadette. Nicknamed “Bird.” Bird wanted to be like Judith Resnik and in her school, the 100 winners for writing an essay about the upcoming event would be able to watch it live. Bird was looking up for the event for a month and doing class activities set up by her teacher to gain student’s excitement. When she finally was able to watch it live she was horrified from seeing her favorite astronaut die in a matter of minutes. Possibly one of my favorite books taught me about a tragedy I probably would’ve never decided to research on, and here I am
We did a case study on this in one of my engineering classes. It's so sad that they were warned not to launch that morning by several departments, but higher-ups overroad that warning and gave it a go anyways. Its reported that some of the crew may have survived after the explosion, and were killed within the cockpit after its impact with the ocean (this was deduced after the autopsy of some remaining bodies recovered). Such a terrible tragedy that could have all been avoided so easily. May their souls rest in peace.
Noah Beck
Noah Beck:
My mom's teacher was in there. She told me the story, and she, the teachers, and her classmates were devastated.
Everyone knew the risks. Progress isnt always easy. Rip, my respect for putting your lives on the line
Static Shocker
Static Shocker:
It's odd seeing this footage. Due to the quality and such it feels like it was filmed a lot earlier than it is. This was late 80's, so only 36 years ago roughly at the time this comment gets posted. It truly was a horrible and preventable tragedy and all we can do even now is hope that people learn from such mistakes so they never repeat.
I was little when it hapened, I don't remember much, but I remember it was a shock and a subject of discussion in school. It breaks my heart watching it. The crew members are the heroes of space exploration and I will always remember them.
London’s Gaming
London’s Gaming:
There was a teacher on board that shuttle. That teacher volunteered to go on that shuttle to teach kids about space in space. She was truly an amazing person 😞
Rudy Orosco
Rudy Orosco:
This was the most "live sad tragic loss of life I seen on tv until The September 11th, 2001 attacks on The World Trade Center and The Pentagon. In both tragedies, I remember watching both incidents and feeling so helpless and wanting and wishing their was something I could have done to prevent it. It hurts when you something like this live on tv and know that there's nothing you can do to stop it.
“You can see the smiles in their faces” that tore my heart into pieces
They all literally seemed like so nice people. It's truly tragic that they met their fate.
William Blair
William Blair:
Judith was one of the most amazing people you could have ever hoped to meet. Artist, Scientist, and Musician.
Dennis X
Dennis X:
I was a senor in high school that day and my science teacher was a finalists to go on the Shuttle Challenger. We all watched in horror when it exploded and it particularly hit our physics teacher very hard. I still keep in touch with him to this day.
Mr. Shark Tooth
Mr. Shark Tooth:
Even though this is a sad video, it's also a part of our shared history. This is the best quality video available on YouTube as far as I'm aware.
Sean The Porcupine
Sean The Porcupine:
I remember as a kid I wanted to be an astronaut to visit Jupiter. Jupiter was my favorite planet at the time but looking at this now, yeah no. My heart goes out to the people who died on the challenger...
Dropping in altitude that quickly can easily cause someone to go unconscious. I can only hope this is what happened if anyone survived the blast. Rip to them all
christopher sharp
christopher sharp:
This is still such a tragic situation. I remember seeing this happen on TV when I where alot younger. It was hard for everyone to wrap their heads around that just all of a sudden they where gone.
I’m rewatching or re learning about these disasters I should say, and I realize how incredibly stupid NASA was whenever sending people to space that weren’t professionals, your supposed to the rain for more then 4 years to go to space the teacher on the challenger trained for a short 8 months, this could’ve been prevented but NASA was so focused on getting more recognition and more popularity they didn’t care
Kelli Kocha
Kelli Kocha:
My parents were in college when this happened. I can’t imagine how scary it was seeing this live
Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman:
If they survived the initial blast (some speculate) I can’t imagine the overwhelming feeling of regret from the teacher. As an astronaut, you expect this to be a real possibility in your field of work. And sure the teacher knew the possibility too… but it’s the “why” that gets me. The astronaut died doing what they loved, chasing a childhood dream. But the teacher, for an experience, I can’t imagine.
Jeff Mercer
Jeff Mercer:
This is one of those things that get burned into your mind forever. I’ll never forget that day, I was in 5th grade in Charleston SC, literally the entire school was watching it live. I remember several of the teachers crying and general chaos in the hallways, as well as lots of horrified students.
Um Maluco no Planalto
Um Maluco no Planalto:
Even after explosion, the guy continues narrating so calmly.
King Swag
King Swag:
Just watching that at 8 years old not only scared me but just knowing the silence in my house knowing we just watched people took that last breath as a kid that says all kinds of Scar images in your mind knowing you at a young age just saw that I can imagine the family members that is a horrible horrible experience
1:58 the broken part to me seeing people with their big smile and excited moment while they didn't know it actually their last moment just like the case on Teenager sinking ferry at Korea, I'm sure it was always their dream of going to space and so did those kids to enjoy their trip with their classmate.

But the god is too cruel to take them away without even let them fullfil their dream or even let them see they almost there.
3:03 Honestly I found my heart beating so fast while the rocket is going up cause we all knew what happened there...and it break our heart.
the middle school I went to was named after her, right after she passed away in this tragic accident. there was a picture of her and her biography on the wall. may she rest in peace. she is missed
Alyssa N.
Alyssa N.:
I was in grade six, watching the shuttle launch at school. We all watched the shuttle explode on the television. We couldn't believe what we were seeing on the little screen. It was the most devastating tragedy we'd ever witnessed. So very scary.😢
gator Scoops
gator Scoops:
It’s kinda sad that they trained so hard all their lives....just to be cut short in seconds
Sapper T
Sapper T:
I watched this lunch live in school as a child. My teacher gasped. I was too young to understand what what was happening. But it always stuck with me.
Mark S
Mark S:
I read when they were recovering the crew compartment with the astronauts one of them, Greg Jarvis’s body floated away. Robert Crippen who flew with John Young on the first shuttle flight rented a boat to try and find Jarvis’s body. Eventually it was recovered. Everything about this was sad.
Exploring any frontier always involves risk, but this was wholly avoidable. Impatient bureaucrats put public relations and message spin ahead of the sound counsel of safety professionals. May we learn from this and never repeat it.
Brew Crew
Brew Crew:
Needless tragedy, they had all the O ring data but still launched on the coldest day in years. This was a crime. My admiration to all the brace souls on board and my deepest sympathy to the families of the crew.
it’s sad that the teacher who died on this, her son watched it as it exploded and he sent his favorite teddy bear with her for good luck, poor kid:(
It’s crazy to think that is is the last seconds of 7 people’s life 😭
Adib Abdullah
Adib Abdullah:
One of the Saddest Moment in the History of Television and the United States 🥺
P & D Outdoors
P & D Outdoors:
Guy on the radio did a really good job of staying calm and professional.
James O'Brien
James O'Brien:
Watch the documentary on this. We specifically covered this accident in engineering school and the importance of ethics when the people in charge won't listen to the engineers.
Kingdom Quest
Kingdom Quest:
My teacher was a finalist in the "Teacher in Space" project and he had to excuse his self from the class after being so shaken up by what had just happened
sadie templet
sadie templet:
What I really can't get over is that they survived the explosion and that they are aware that they are falling into the ocean like they died from the impact of hitting the ocean. Like can we all imagine sitting in a rocket being so excited to launch into space and then all of a sudden your rocket explodes and you are probably thinking out of all launches why this one, why me? Now you're falling toward the ocean and your life ends within seconds from the impact. That is so sad iIfeel so bad for all the astronauts who went on this mission and died.Their dream was to go to space and it was blown up.......literally.
RR Baby Girrl
RR Baby Girrl:
This was such a sad historic event...and for the children families and friends to witness this is truly 💔
Prom Night Dumpster Baby
Prom Night Dumpster Baby:
The fact that the guy in the radio is speaking so calm, is so weird
Edward Edwards
Edward Edwards:
I had the urge to watch this again after This Is Us. Moments like this have such a huge impact on our lives and the way we see the world.
"Obviously a major malfunction..."
Understatement of that year.
I remember this day in school. They had us all sitting in the library watching the lift off. We all hung our heads and cried. The rest of the day was silent. No one said a word in the hallways. Our hearts were broken.
Carol mac   (Carolyn Rae A..)
Carol mac (Carolyn Rae A..):
I remember watching the spectators at the launch for about 15 or 20 minutes before lift off and was surprised to see Peter Billingsley in the stands, he had starred as Ralphie in my favorite film 'A Christmas Story' almost 3 years before,,, then seeing the camera briefly pan his face as he realized what had happened, the heartbreak, the uncontrollable tears,..
Tatum Hollis
Tatum Hollis:
God bless all the people in the rocket
Blender Bach
Blender Bach:
It's very amazing how watching this today, and knowing that this happened already, but watching it, it feels awesome and exciting, a Shuttle Launch is about to happen, and then suddenly... It's still a nasty surprise to this day even though you already know it's going to happen... I can't quite explain...
My God. Imagine being the loved one of any one of these crew members and then just seeing the shuttle explode without warning, with your very eyes, and just trying to process what you just witnessed. What a horrible experience
Catherine Frame
Catherine Frame:
Kept mentioning the teacher a lot, 6 others died as well. Had families and children too. God bless them all.
Can you imagine how panic they were in there 😔
Aaron Soto
Aaron Soto:
RIP too all. 500-1000 years from now this technology will be mastered. Almost as normal as flying an airplane.
Alpha Kanno
Alpha Kanno:
Ronald E. McNair, the African American Astronaut is from my hometown of Lake City, SC. Every year we celebrate the life he lived and honor his story. Having met his family, I can tell that every year on the anniversary of this accident, they are heartbroken but still happy he got to live his dream. There is a Museum, Statue, School, Park, Local Holiday and scholarship program made in his honor.
It is even more sad when you know that the crew survived the blast. The crew module remained pretty much intact until it hit the water. If you read the official accident investigation report, they even managed to grab stills from the video that showed the intact crew module on it's way down. RIP to those lost, a needless disaster that could have been, and should have been avoided if only the management had listened to the engineers that said it was too cold to launch. If you have watched the documentary "Challenger: A Rush to Launch", it is all to clear that the flight should never have taken off that morning. You can't help but feel angry when watching that documentary. When you have a senior engineer thinking it's likely to blow up on the pad as soon as they light the boosters, you know something was seriously wrong in the thought processes of the management team. A disaster that should never have happened.
Let's all pay a sign of Respect to the people who ended up losing there life's for a Moment that will forever go down in History 😔
Idris Salaam
Idris Salaam:
I remember seeing this happen. I thought it was part of the launch until everything started flying in different directions
Erin Thor
Erin Thor:
With respect to all, these hero’s died doing what they loved, followed their dreams, and should be respected for accepting the risks.
She’s smiling in heaven now…
RIP to the people on the space shuttle 😞🌹🪦
The Chosen One
The Chosen One:
It’s scary when you realize that some of them didn’t die until it hit the water
Florida life is the best
Florida life is the best:
I was in the 7th grade when this tragedy happened. I’ll never forget that day. I was in lunch and when I came to my 6th period class the teacher told us what happened. We watched the news on the TV. Class didn’t take place that day. It was all about the focus on what happened.
Mike Andrews
Mike Andrews:
“Obviously, a major malfunction”.

The biggest understatement of all time.
Mkay Then
Mkay Then:
7:42 to see what may be possible. That in itself makes me so sad. It really makes you feel that the dispatcher had just a little hope. :(
Matías Pereira
Matías Pereira:
As of today literally all people born in the 1950s were born closer to the explosion of the Challenger than the explosion of the Challenger is to today. When the Challenger exploded, January 1, 1950 was 36 years and 27 days in the past and it's now been 36 years and 28 days since the Challenger exploded

Time between the start of the 1950s and the explosion of the Challenger (January 1, 1950-January 28, 1986): 36 years and 27 days

Time since the Challenger exploded (January 28, 1986-February 25, 2022): 36 years and 28 days
SpaceX KSP - Vojtak
SpaceX KSP - Vojtak:
35 Years later, R.I.P, never forget.
Chance Bonner
Chance Bonner:
I remember my science teacher in middle school telling me about this. When she was a kid, she was one the students of the female who was on the ship, and she witnessed this happening in person, thats fucking awful.
Jennifer Ladd
Jennifer Ladd:
I remember this and I cried all day bc it was horrible!! I kept thinking about their families and friends watching it happen!! NASA should've known better!! R.I.P Angels!!
hunter ★
hunter ★:
It makes me even sadder that there was a social study’s teacher on board to teach her students more about space. She must have been a really good person if she wanted to do that
I remember watching this live on TV.. I told my friends the shuttle exploded and they didn't believe me until they ran into the room and saw the video feed. Really sad.. Worse part is none of them had to die.. HUMAN Error caused it..
hannah valdez
hannah valdez:
The excitement in their faces not knowing that is their final moments..
Tim Riley
Tim Riley:
The business school case study "Carter Racing" is fascinating to have really smart people go through. It is based on vital Challenger data/players and despite the available data indicating the clear risk, most people choose to "launch". The "who they chose to listen to" and "why" they chose to launch is a great lesson.
Rip Legends, I wish could travel space once that's was my big dream 😭
Priscila Ben10
Priscila Ben10:
Yesterday my Web Design teacher was telling us how he still remembers seeing it explode live. He was in 4th grade at the time in the schools library and they wheeled in one of those old TVs and turned it on to watch the rocket liftoff, and seeing it explode a little while after. He said it low key traumatized him
Evonne Savage
Evonne Savage:
This is crazy I can’t imagine the pain her son felt and her students
The O2 ring on the Challenger was designed to be flexible, but it froze, causing the failure. The flight director signed off on the flight with numerous warnings, but he said he was willing to take the risk. The compartment where the astronauts were (and teacher) was intact and fell for 2 1/2 minutes until impact on the ocean, where they then died. It was only after finding their oxygen tanks did they realize that they were breathing all the way down. 😞
Vivian Konrardy
Vivian Konrardy:
Christa was a teacher going up in space in 1986 with 6 other passengers. Christa's 2 kids were watching and her class and Parents. All 7 passengers had emergency oxygen tubes. They found that 3 of them were activated meaning 4 people died during the explosion and 3 died on the impact of the cabin hitting the water. Many classes were watching the catastrophe live in class. Christa was going to preform science experiments in space while students would do the same experiment in class. Christa's 2 kids (6 and 8 at the time) grew up to be teachers and Christa's husband worked at the Supreme court. That night Ronald Reagan gave a heartfelt speech after canceling another event occurring the same night. I give my hearts out to all the family's and may all the passengers rest in peace.
Every time I look up and see footage about this day, I can’t help but cry. 😢
A few minutes ago I saw the challenger, and I was very sad that the crew, especially the teacher, were very happy to be able to leave the earth :(
Dia T
Dia T:
It's still devastating to watch after all these years RIP 🙏😭
belly flop
belly flop:
To only have 2 disasters during the shuttle program is actually amazing, a controlled bomb is all that it is.they could of had zero
Mr Ticky
Mr Ticky:
As a teacher myself, this is scary to watch.
What’s insane is that crew actually survived the explosion and didn’t die until the cockpit hit the water. A few even turned their emergency oxygen on before they hit the water.
Grounders Source
Grounders Source:
I remember this very vaguely. And by vaguely, I was not even two years old, but I heard my older brothers gasped. But seeing this all over again is just as horrifying as it was 35 years ago.
Larry Underwood
Larry Underwood:
That was a horrible moment. I was 10 years old watching this in school live.
Paint Paint Paint Co.
Paint Paint Paint Co.:
The bravery it takes to get on a space shuttle..remarkable
k. triuski
k. triuski:
What a sad tragic, it breaks my heart