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Challenger - Area Depicting Burn-Through in the Right SRM

Challenger exploded, on 28 January 1986, because an O-ring failed, allowing hot gasses to blow-through an area which should have been tightly sealed.

NASA had experienced prior difficulties with the shuttle's O-rings, but none of those incidences led to a catastrophic failure.

This image shows where the blow-through occurred, leading to loss of the mission. NASA provides more details to describe this photo of the right Solid Rocket Motor after it was recovered from the Atlantic (following the disaster):

On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger and her seven-member crew were lost when a ruptured O-ring in the right Solid Rocket Booster caused an explosion soon after launch.

Shown here is an interior view of the scorched hole in Space Shuttle Challenger's right Solid Rocket Motor. The tapered edges along the hole indicate the inside to outside path of the fire that lead to the accident.

A propellant fire in the right Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) burned its way outward through the metal, breaching the liquid hydrogen tank and possibly separating the External Tank from the right SRB.

Click on the image for a full-page view.


Media Credits

NASA image; online via NASA. Public Domain.

 

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"Challenger - Area Depicting Burn-Through in the Right SRM" AwesomeStories.com. Jan 28, 2016. Dec 16, 2017.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Challenger-Area-Depicting-Burn-Through-in-the-Right-SRM>.
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