for divers history Channel Documentary on World War II-era ocean wrecks finds a big, long-missing piece instead space shuttle challengerwhich exploded and fell into the Atlantic Ocean 73 seconds after liftoff NASAKennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986.
NASA today confirmed the authenticity of the find after viewing footage of the dive.
“Almost 37 years have passed since the seven courageous and brave explorers aboard the Challenger were killed, but this tragedy will forever remain in our nation’s collective memory,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “To millions of people around the world, including January 28, 1986, still feels like yesterday.
“This discovery,” he continued, “gave us an opportunity to pause once again, to relive the legacy of the seven pioneers we lost, and to reflect on how this tragedy changed us. At NASA, Safety has a core value of – and should always be – our top priority, especially as our missions explore the universe more than ever before.”
The 20-foot fragment of the shuttle was discovered by divers filming the upcoming History Channel documentary when it was not clear Bermuda Triangle: In the Cursed Waters, Although they were looking for the wreckage dating back to World War II, divers saw what NASA described as a “man-made object partially covered by sand on the ocean floor”.
Watch the video of the discovery below.
According to NASA, with the proximity of the Florida Space Coast, modern construction of the artifacts, and the presence of 8-inch square tiles, the documentary team approached NASA.
In a tweet today, the History Channel called the discovery “the first discovery of debris from the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger in more than 25 years.” Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters will debut on Tuesday, November 22.
NASA said it is “currently considering what additional action may be taken with respect to artifacts that will properly honor the legacy of Challenger’s fallen astronauts and the families who love them.”
By law, all spacecraft artifacts are the property of the US government.
The doomed Challenger mission was commanded by Francis R. “Dick” Scobie and Michael J. Smith was conducted. Other crew member Ronald E. McNair, Alison S. Onizuka, Judith A. Resnick, Gregory B. Jarvis and S. Krista McAuliffe. It was the then-novel involvement of a civilian, school teacher McAuliffe, that generated considerable public interest in the lift-off, and millions of people were watching live as the tragedy unfolded.