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:

Harrison Zeno Schoonmaker
Harrison Zeno Schoonmaker:
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.
Wayne Finnicum
Wayne Finnicum:
M grandfather passed away about an hour before this happened. I was a young kid, I was devastated that morning.
This is what happens when higher-ups don't listen to the scientists who did the math. You'd think people would learn from their mistakes after this.
Ryan Evans
Ryan Evans:
Imagine watching your teacher launch out of a rocket that fails. And then going back to school to a different teacher
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.
“Obviously a major malfunction”, not sure if there was a better way to describe this tragedy.
hedgehog and otter
hedgehog and otter:
i feel so awfully bad for the teacher that was onboard this, her students were watching this LIVE on tv and in real life maybe and saw her die, it’s horrible😩✊🏻
Danny Williams
Danny Williams:
One of the most harrowing and provoking moments in the original footage was watching all the parents in the stands, watching as their own children died right before their eyes and had to watch the wreckage fall to Earth. Awful tragedy.
This is from Wikipedia: The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. The exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown; several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. The shuttle had no escape system, and the impact of the crew compartment at terminal velocity with the ocean surface was too violent to be survivable. :(
This is still tough to watch so many years later and it always will be.
Outkast1337 Reckoning
Outkast1337 Reckoning:
The voice of the mission control dude starts to get shaky after the explosion. He tries to be professional but you can tell he's distraught. RIP Challenger crew.
Heinz Schmitt
Heinz Schmitt:
It's good that the SPACEX Dragon has a launch escape operation to hopefully avoid anything like this happening in the future.
They are slowly and literally walking towards their deaths
David Bentz Jr.
David Bentz Jr.:
This was one of my first life changing events. I am 40 years old now and yet I remember being in my kindergarten class, we just finished the Pledge of Allegiance and morning announcements, everyone was excited for the launch. They had a tv in our classroom so we could watch it live. When it blew up, I didn't exactly understand the significance of what had just happened but the teacher explained that people died and it was a very sad time. The silence that followed lasted a very long time, we all just watched the screen in silence as the vapor dissipated and then the teacher turned off the tv, we (the class) all said a few prayers for them and my memory gets foggy after that. I am watching this video on the day of the Nasa/SpaceX Falcon 9 launch, and I am very happy to say that this modern launch was a success. There is always risk, and danger, but this is how we discover the world around us, working together in peace.
Daniel Muscarella
Daniel Muscarella:
Its absolutely horrifying knowing some of them were still alive on the way down 😞
Leonardo G.
Leonardo G.:
In memory of Christa McAuliffe, Richard Scoobee, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, and Micheal J. Smith. We miss you!
Terribly sad especially when NASA was told this would happen if they didn’t change that stupid gasket
Mike Maby
Mike Maby:
And yet even after this, other humans still had the balls to keep reaching for the stars with those things.
Scott Hall
Scott Hall:
The words "Challenger go with throttle up. Roger, go with throttle up." still send shivers down my spine.
Crosis of Borg
Crosis of Borg:
So sad to see them all smiling not realizing they were in the last hours of life and we’re about to feel fear and pain.
John Collins
John Collins:
What's sad is that they probably did not die instantly.
War Wolves
War Wolves:
Who’s here after watching “Away” on Netflix?
sara kate
sara kate:
2nd attempt at launch.. probably why they didn’t just postpone it again when engineers said it was too cold to launch
Mikel Hawk
Mikel Hawk:
I live just south of the Cape and I attended the Challenger launch in person. It was a rather cold morning (cold for Florida anyway), and I will NEVER forget that fateful morning :>/
Tea Pug
Tea Pug:
My gosh. I found myself watching this 34 years later wanting to hit pause and tell the astronauts to head back home, to stop the fanfare towards the rocket because of knowing what was coming... I can’t even begin to imagine what the astronauts went through in their last moments. The investigation found that the crew cabin came away intact, some of the astronauts had activated their emergency oxygen... It was suggested they were likely alive until they hit the ocean surface about 2 minutes after the explosion. I can’t even. I hope they’re at peace now and that their families are doing as well as they can...even though they would never be the same again :(
François Calvaresi
François Calvaresi:
This is why they delayed the first launch ever of Crew Dragon : don’t mess with the weather, it will win everytime. Sad for the heroic crew of Challenger.
Joey Barrelwilde
Joey Barrelwilde:
I was 11 going on 12 years old, in the 6th grade in a small parochial school. I still remember the principal going classroom, to classroom telling the classes that the space shuttle exploded. She was shocked out her mind, I still remember her opening the door and telling the class that. Over 34 years ago, seems like today.
masterpiece Lacquers
masterpiece Lacquers:
I never noticed that the explosion coincides directly with mission control telling them to throttle up.
The increased pressure of throttling up blew that seal and the everything exploded.
kadi koo
kadi koo:
The beginning just hurts, if only they knew. Their families had to watch this. I can’t even imagine
Kevin D
Kevin D:
Imagine falling 7 miles in a cockpit to the concrete surface of an ocean. Longest tower of terror ever....
my dad says this was one of the three things that are scared into his memory causing a complete reevaluating of the world, the other two were Waco Texas massacre (made him loose all confidence in the government and any notion that it really cares for its people) and of course 9/11 (he was in the city that day)
Erik Andersson
Erik Andersson:
It's not easy, becoming a space-faring species.
dxn 7
dxn 7:
4:13 you can hear over the spaceship radio the engines exploding
One of the white trails is the crew cabin:(
Matthew Durden
Matthew Durden:
At the five minute mark "we have a major malfunction" .What an understatement.
Blake Branvold
Blake Branvold:
It's a shame how upper management often hurt what they oversee
When I was in Jr High I remember my class being moved to the auditorium to watch this live... I remember being so excited to watch something so amazing happen live to suddenly feeling so incredibly sad. Speechless in both instances, but for very different reasons. This is why I especially appreciate so much that Elon and his team at SpaceX push their testing to the absolute limits and beyond. To avoid, where possible, future tragedies like this.
Ronald McNair (one of the victims) lived a minute walk away from the house I currently live in (parents moved here in 1996, 12 years after the disaster). His wife still lived there until it burnt down last year. House was rebuilt, but not sure if she moved back in (haven't seen her around).

I would get candy from her while trick-or-treating as a kid. If Ron was still alive, maybe he would still live there as well and I may have been able to meet him. Not just while trick-or-treating, but maybe at the grocery store or while walking around the neighborhood or whatever.
Phillip Paik
Phillip Paik:
They shall Rest In Peace and may we learn from our mistakes and never have a tragedy like this ever again.
Michael Gilbert
Michael Gilbert:
Thirty four years later, this still makes my blood run cold, and gives me chills... Anyone interested in an in depth look at why this happened should read the book, "Truth, Lies, and 'O' Rings". It's hard to put down, and it's even harder not to throw the book across the room in anger after reading it.
This is one of those events that anyone who saw it, remembers it like it was yesterday, even all these years later.. What really gets me when I watch this is that strange feedback that is audible several moments after the explosion.. Almost as if spacetime itself knew something had gone terribly wrong....
ygg drasil
ygg drasil:
"Challenger, go with throttle up" - It was going fine up until that point.
Jorje Pablo
Jorje Pablo:
It was a cold morning when i got to work esrly and was sitting on a dock smoking a joint and watching the shuttle fly through the air and then there was an explosion and the two boosters shot off and formed a Y and my heart just sank, i was slackjawed trying to realize what had just happened.
D R:
"On January 28, 1986, as the Space Shuttle Challenger broke up over the Atlantic Ocean 73 seconds into its flight, Allan McDonald looked on in shock -- despite the fact that the night before, he had refused to sign the launch recommendation over safety concerns.

McDonald, the director of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor Project for the engineering contractor Morton Thiokol, was concerned that below-freezing temperatures might impact the integrity of the solid rockets' O-rings."

NASA's greed and gambling with unnecessary risk was responsible for this. be repeated again some years later.....
diamond miner 254
diamond miner 254:
the narrator sounded like me doing a presentation in school, having no idea what to say and just speaking as the video goes on
Still makes me just stare and reflect on that day. Such a pivotal moment.
Sho Nuff
Sho Nuff:
This is one of those rare moments where everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when this happened.
Bella Luv
Bella Luv:
I was too young to remember this. Watching now is terrifying 😪 I can’t imagine how the family and friends felt. Gave me chills.
That eerie vapor trail literally stayed in the sky for hours despite the strong cold winds that day. I was 100 miles south looking up at it just mesmerized at its awkward form.
I’ll never forget that morning. I was a Teacher Assistant working with a 1st grade class. We weren’t watching the launch because 1st graders get antsy and bored. Our Principal came over the PA system and broke the news to us about the tragedy. I remember gasping and looking at the Teacher I worked with. This one hit me especially hard because I was studying to be a Teacher myself. Later on, I saw an interview on our local news. They were interviewing a teacher from Los Angeles who had applied to NASA for the Teacher in Space Program but didn’t make it for some reason. I recognized him instantly. He had been one of my High School teachers. In a different world, he could’ve been the one in that shuttle.
John Newman
John Newman:
You never know when you’re gonna go
They seem to all have lived life to its fullest.
Truly not to many can say they died doing what they loved.
Bobby Bonilla Bobcat
Bobby Bonilla Bobcat:
It's crazy to see these people sitting at the table. Knowing that shortly after they were going to plummet to earth in a little capsule from 3 miles in the air. They fell that far knowing what happened and that they were going to die. I can't even imagine what it must of been like.
caj11 1
caj11 1:
I was in middle school when they made the announcement and asked for a moment of silence. It feels like yesterday. Then I remember kids making completely tasteless jokes about it and while I realize these were middle school kids, I was also a middle school kid who was thoroughly disgusted by that and wanted no part of it. Last but not least, I vaguely remember the year before when one of my teachers and two other teachers in the school district putting in applications to be candidates for this mission and going down to Florida with the other 11,000 schoolteachers to learn about and be interviewed as candidates for this mission, then telling us all about it when they came back, although none of them made it through the first round. After nearly two years of excitement and anticipation, it all came down to this tragedy in a matter of minutes. Has NASA ever fully recovered from the Challenger disaster? Is space exploration truly worth it? I haven't the slightest idea.
what a tragedy. guys, never take life for granted.
Scott Carter
Scott Carter:
I was a PFC in The US Army, stationed in Baumholder, West Germany when this happened. Our entire brigade was very saddened by this event.
Daniel Roth
Daniel Roth:
You can actually very faintly hear a lady at 4:29-4:30 crying or saying “oh my god” very distressed. This is so sad.
Randy Puerto
Randy Puerto:
this not only makes me feel sad it creeps me out as well. Imagine having little to no thought of what was going to happen. jeez.
Suzi Anderson-Cubbin
Suzi Anderson-Cubbin:
Those words 'go with throttle up' still give me chills today. It seems like yesterday it happened I remember it so clearly. May the Gods be with those that died that day.
This could've been prevented if NASA had listened to the damn engineer addressing the design flaw. Such stupid people.
When I heard “major malfunction” I knew they were gone.
"Ice is forming on the tips of my wings, unheeded warnings, I thought I thought of everything" Pink Floyd Learning to Fly.
hi !
hi !:
Just imagine how amazing it would’ve been if it was successful. How proud everyone would’ve been. very sad to think about what would’ve been but now can’t.
Coastal Cruzer
Coastal Cruzer:
That was one of the downsides of the shuttles, there wasn't really any escape if something went wrong. With other missions, like the Apollo missions, there was a solid fuel "abort tower" on top of the capsule that would launch the thing away from the rest of the rocket as fast as possible. Unfortunately the shuttles didn't have a thing like that. If something went wrong, you weren't going to be having a good day.
Ismelitooo El caballo
Ismelitooo El caballo:
All smiles and they had no idea they where walking right into their impending death.
Leo Gonzalez
Leo Gonzalez:
This was my 1st where we're you when moments! I remember so vividly I was in 3rd grade sitting in the cafeteria with the rest of the school kids watching the Challenger lift off every one applauded and cheer when it did then seconds later the gasps of disbelief the principal turned off the tv's and we had a assembly that day with our parents .crazy to think this was nearly 35 years ago! I moved to Salt Lake city and The Irony is I now work for Atk Orbital which used to be Morton Thiokol's yup the maker of of the O rings and even got to meet Roger Boisjoly .. The Nasa SLS is nearly ready more powerful than the Saturn V even though SpaceX Starship is all over the news what people need to understand is tha every comonent of the SLS has been tested to insanity government funded vs private that is a huge difference that is why the endless delays everything has to be at 110% its engines are tried and true as they are the same the Orbiter used.. so Even if on paper the starship looks more impressive it will not be as reliable as thr SlS ... Cheers from Salt Lake City!
This is one of those times (like 9/11) where everybody watching remembers exactly where and what they were doing when this happened. For me, I was sitting on the floor huddled around the tv cart with all of my 5th grade classmates. Very scary and confusing at that age and I remember it like it was yesterday.
If nasa had just canceled the damn thing, this wont have happened.
Margaret Kimberling
Margaret Kimberling:
I agree it still brings tears to my eyes I was in Redding Ca at the time when it happened sitting at a friends house with my husband and my two year old daughter watching it my heart still goes out to the family's.
Lainey Wright
Lainey Wright:
Two years before the death of my Grandmother, the Challenger Explosion happened. It had a profound effect on her. Nightly for several weeks, Granny talked about those precious souls lost in that horrible explosion. She spoke of them with reverence, daily, although it was clear the crew was gone. A woman that lived through WW1, WW2, the Great Depression, and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 struggled to accept the deaths of these beautiful people. May we never forget them.
I can't watch anymore after I see them smiling during the breakfast :(
Strokaveli Basketcase
Strokaveli Basketcase:
Damn .... He said "throttle up " then boom ...... Sad to watch till this day ....
Technically it didnt explode. It broke up from aerodynamic forces.
Michael Stürzel
Michael Stürzel:
Bad luck... Normal occupational risk in this sector
Ismail Hossain
Ismail Hossain:
The reason why you clicked on this video: 4:13

Your welcome.
R.I.P. to the Astronauts that were onboard.
Taylor West
Taylor West:
"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
This video was uploaded to YouTube in 2020 at the time where everyone was at home quarantined.
Rafael Diaz
Rafael Diaz:
I wasn't even born when this happened and even I still find it a bit tough to watch.
Jon Parton
Jon Parton:
"You probably dont even hear it when it happens right?"
Memo Vasquez
Memo Vasquez:
Why did i watch this again? I remember watching it when i was in elementary school. Every class had a tv n watching. They were my role models on me wanting to be an astronaut n they are my heroes. I remember i was cheering n screaming so loud when they had take-off next time I know i was on my knees crying. This tragedy affected me a lot. I no longer wanted to b an astronaut if they weren't there , i had nightmares of the explosion n to a point where I was saying that at times they had talked to me. After that day i had never watched anither NASA take-off till today MAY 30, 2020. I starting shaking n wanted to leave my house thinking something bad might b happening. Thank you god for allowing thus to go great, pls watch over them in space n in their return back home. I have never been so proud of my country. GOD BLESS AMERICA n BLESS US ALL.
Squeegee Master
Squeegee Master:
Imagine if Krista was your teacher and you saw her blow up
Elijah Hernandez
Elijah Hernandez:
I am crying knowing that they where on there.
Mickey Phillips
Mickey Phillips:
When this occurred there was a small condo site being built not far from where I live. The builder decided to call the main road in the community Challenger, and he named the side streets after each of the crew members.
I remember being just 14 years old and sitting in my living room floor in front of the tv, so eager to watch this so we could talk about it in school the next day. When that thing exploded, I instantly started crying and yelled for my family to come to the living room. It was soul crushing. We talked about it the next day in school but even our teacher was getting choked up about it. I think we even wrote letters to NASA about it and giving our condolences.
Why on earth do you wanna risk someones life like this ???
Sun Nyan Min
Sun Nyan Min:
2:15 "Big Smiles Today"
Colligan Crafts
Colligan Crafts:
I remember watching this live at home when I was home sick from school. I yelled ‘mom, the space shuttle just blew up’ and I remember she didn’t believe me at first. I couldn’t believe it and I watched it happen. We had a vacation 2 weeks later to Florida and went to Kennedy space center. It was so sad, looking out at the ocean was like looking out at a cemetery. Prayers were said. 💜
katherine hunter
katherine hunter:
I was watching this historic flight on TV before I went to pick up my daughter at school for lunch.
The school like many was showing this launch in the gymnasium with there school.
Because everyone was excited by the fact the a private citizen who was a teacher was going on this incredible journey.
Her class had done a huge class project about this voyage.
I was completely stunned watching this then I broke into tears and raced out to go to the school.
The entire school was in shock and tears. They closed the school for the remainder of the day.
Watching this again today took me back to the way I felt all those years ago.
I pray that this upcoming SpaceX/NASA mission will be safe.
Peace be with the astronauts.
Kiska_blue Tictoks
Kiska_blue Tictoks:
Who’s here in 2020 😭
"You know, were sitti'n on four million pounds of fuel, and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts and built by the lowest bidder"
4:26 SRB: wait its only been 1 minute-
Jason Williams
Jason Williams:
Sitting in class during high school in Florida when this terrible tragedy happen....everyone was literally speechless!
Kale LeMaster
Kale LeMaster:
I hate that first 1 minute or so after the explosion when it's dead quiet and if you listen close enough shortly after you can hear someone in JSC or KSC Mission Control let out a cry. That silence after that is hard to listen to because you can tell MC is grasping at everything hoping to not have to acknowledge the inevitable. They were just hoping, hoping, and hoping to see the orbiter gliding down and the downlink telemetry restore and regain comms even though they already knew that not a single one of those was ever going to happen. There was no abort systems in Challenger because NASA thought the shuttle was safe enough to not need one which blows my mind but whatever. I wasn't born yet for Challenger but I was 15 for Columbia and I'll never forget what I was watching then. A mission is never successful until that orbiter or capsule is back home in the ocean or on a runway but it in my head the mission was already done and all they were doing was just coming home and that everything will be fine. Unfortunately that's not what happened and I'm sure not very many people watched that at all because it was just a
re-entry from a mission that was successful up to that point. Since the fact on Challenger we were sending a private citizen that was a teacher up for the first time, it was really a media frenzy and in turn caused so many to tune in. On Columbia though I did watch re-entry live and I won't ever be able to get it out of my head just watching that orbiter disintegrate coming back. None of these deaths from all failed space travel or testing on ground were in vain though because there was so many changes that came from those events, too many to list, and it caused us to have a little bit more insight on what we need to do to make space travel and the science coming from it incredibly safe. Although all of it was horrible and chilling, but when I get that little blip of "uh-oh" right as it blew up is the thing that always literally sends a chill up my spine. I'm glad what this Country and SpaceX have all done so far for space travel since day one. I truly believe that space travel has became pretty safe in all aspects with SpaceX and their technology being used. Especially since the day SpaceX tested the Dragon Capsule abort jettison and since the day I watched Bob and Doug make it to the ISS, I haven't been any more ready for American space travel then I am now. It's simply exciting and I think all Americans should be eccentric over it also. It's unfortunate that it got minimal air play lately but it won't be the last time going up so I hope it'll get the airplay that it should of at those different points. I legitimately balled my eyes out watching each successful stage of DM-2 and I just hope everyone of us can once again get excited of American space travel and science it accompanies because this is my generations moon landing and it seems like people don't give a shit. My pride and love of my Country went to new heights watching that Falcon go. If that shit don't make you proud to be an American then I don't know fucking what will.
Obi-Wan Can Blow Me
Obi-Wan Can Blow Me:
"Here we see the crew enjoying their breakfast!" *Crew stares at camera and others while they have zero food in front of them*

Edit: Oh sorry, they have *a single cake*
Watched this live, in Grade school. Heartbreaking.
I turned on the radio when I got back to my dorm room in college, and all I heard was "no survivors." and the report stopped. I didn't know what happened. Later I found out the shuttle exploded. I was standing in the tv room at the room watching the tape with everyone else - my heart was pounding. NASA had such a great track record. Frickin administration. The engineers warned about how the O-rings on the booster rockets would respond to the frigid temperatures that morning, and the O-rings were exactly what failed. Fire blew out from the side and ignited the large fuel tank. Politics isn't worth sacrificing human life for a reckless risk - you don't fing ignore your engineers.
I will never forget that day. I haved lived my entire life (55 years) on the space coast. On this day I was about 8 miles away heading east on SR 528.
when it exploded. This spacecraft should have never launched that day. May they all rest in peace.
I remember this like it was yesterday. I was in 5th grade and my whole school was to meet in the library to watch challenger launch. Right before my class was to go to the library, my teacher got mad because two boys were talking and he told us all we had to stay in the classroom and miss the launch. We were the only class that missed the launch. I am still mad that I missed it because I was really looking forward to it, but glad also because it was horrifying.
Neil Roy
Neil Roy:
I still remember where I was when I heard about this. It's still tough to watch. Such a happy moment for the crew, a dream come true for the teacher, all snuffed out in an instant. You never know what will happen and when your life will suddenly end. I hope some people out there believe in God and do their best on a daily basis to obey Him so they are prepared for a sudden death (or saved from one).
KK Design Services
KK Design Services:
Because managers and politicians wouldn't listen to engineers and scientists. Hmmmmm, what does this remind me of today?
D Michaels
D Michaels:
Morton Thiokol was the whistleblower and tried to stop the launch. Even back then whistleblowers were silenced.