Challenger space shuttle

History[ edit ] Challenger was named after HMS Challengera British corvette that was the command ship for the Challenger Expeditiona pioneering global marine research expedition undertaken from through The qualification tests were used to validate computational models, and compliance with the required 1.

Challenger space shuttle

The factory joints were sealed with asbestos-silica insulation applied over the joint, while each field joint was sealed with two rubber O-rings. After the destruction of Challenger, the number of O-rings per field joint was increased to three.

During the Space Shuttle design processa McDonnell Douglas report in September discussed the safety record of solid rockets. While a safe abort was possible after most types of failures, one was especially dangerous: As originally designed by Thiokol, the O-ring joints in the SRBs were supposed to close more tightly due to forces generated at ignition, but a test showed that when pressurized water was used to simulate the effects of booster combustion, the metal parts bent away from each other, opening a gap through which gases could leak.

Space Shuttle Challenger - Wikipedia

This phenomenon, known as "joint rotation," caused a momentary drop in air pressure. This made it possible for combustion gases to erode the O-rings. In the event of widespread erosion, a flame path could develop, causing the joint to burst—which would have destroyed the booster and the shuttle.

For example, one engineer suggested that joint rotation would render the secondary O-ring useless, but Hardy did not forward these memos to Thiokol, and the field joints were accepted for flight in Even after the O-rings were redesignated as "Criticality 1"—meaning that their failure would result in the destruction of the Orbiter—no one at Marshall suggested that the shuttles be grounded until the flaw could be fixed.

In the post-flight analysis, Thiokol engineers found that the amount of blow-by was relatively small and had not impinged upon the secondary O-ring, and concluded that for future flights, the damage was an acceptable risk. However, after the Challenger disaster, Thiokol engineer Brian Russell identified this event as the first "big red flag" regarding O-ring safety.

Perhaps most concerning was the launch of STSB in Aprilflown by Challenger, in which the worst O-ring damage to date was discovered in post-flight analysis. The primary O-ring of the left nozzle had been eroded so extensively that it had failed to seal, and for the first time hot gases had eroded the secondary O-ring.

This tang would grip the inner face of the joint and prevent it from rotating. They did not call for a halt to shuttle flights until the joints could be redesigned, but rather treated the problem as an acceptable flight risk.

The First Civil Astronaut

NASA decided to use Casablanca as the TAL site, but because it was not equipped for night landings, the launch had to be moved to the morning Florida time. Predictions of unacceptable weather at KSC on January 26, caused the launch to be rescheduled for First, one of the micro-switch indicators, used to verify that the hatch was safely locked, malfunctioned.

Challenger space shuttle

The Shuttle was never certified to operate in temperatures that low. The O-rings, as well as many other critical components, had no test data to support any expectation of a successful launch in such conditions.

NASA Orbiter Fleet

Bob Ebeling in October wrote a memo—titled "Help!Feb 15,  · The space shuttle Challenger is lost just after liftoff on this day in , killing the seven astronauts Challenger was the second shuttle built by the National Aeronautics and Space.

The next numerical space shuttle mission (though not in chronological order), STS-7, also flown by the Challenger, launched the first American woman, Sally Ride, into space.


ON STS-8, which actually occurred before STS-7, Challenger was the first orbiter to launch and land at night. Apr 03,  · Space Shuttle STS Atlantis Space Station Assembly ISS-9A S1 Truss NASA - Duration: Space Shuttle Challenger Cockpit Voice Recorder Transcript - Duration: Space Shuttle Challenger (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV) was the second orbiter of NASA's space shuttle program to be put into service, after Columbia.

Challenger was built by Rockwell International's Space Transportation Systems Division, in Downey, flight: STS-6, April 4–9, The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster is probably the most significant event in the history of spaceflight in terms of its impact on the general public and on the US space program.

The death of a crew of seven, which for the first time included civilian astronaut Christa McAuliffe, in a fiery. The space shuttle Challenger was one of NASA's greatest triumphs.

It was the second shuttle to reach space, in April It successfully completed nine milestone missions.

Challenger space shuttle
Challenger Center – Challenger Center