There was a sound of metallic rattling, not common during turbulence. The pilot turned on the "fasten seatbelt" signs, and flight attendant Cindy Chandler called for everyone to return to their seats and fasten their seatbelts. Turbulence and groaning continued. Camera angle suggested descent. Inside the Swan station, Desmond anxiously tried to enter the Numbers.
Metal objects such as cans began to fly through the air toward the concrete wall, demonstrating that the magnetic field behind it was growing much stronger than normal. At the Barracks, the shaking was so violent that dishes fell off of shelves, but there was no evidence of metal behaving abnormally. Suddenly, Oceanic Flight experienced violent turbulence. A rapid, sudden loss of altitude caused passengers who weren't wearing their seatbelts to strike the overhead.
Inside the Swan station, Desmond finally successfully entered the Numbers. The countdown timer reset to The System failure warning message stopped. Groaning noises stopped. At the Barracks, the earthquake stopped. Juliet and her guests went outside. Fourteen minutes after takeoff the aircraft suffered an explosive decompression and disintegrated in flight. Probable Cause:. Such was the case in the crash of a Piper Seneca near Johnstown, N. The pilot, who also was flying passengers on an angel flight, had taken pains to avoid inclement weather during the flight, said the lawsuit against Piper and other defendants.
The breakup of another Piper Seneca near Castro Verde, Portugal, in also occurred during good weather, another lawsuit says. An instructor and two student pilots were flying in clear weather at night when their aircraft disintegrated. Portuguese aviation authorities later concluded that a phenomenon known as runaway trim caused the pilot, who had not been trained to deal with the problem, to lose control.
In-flight breakups, though rare, are typically catastrophic and only a few, such as Renick and Mielzarek, have survived. Another survivor was test pilot Sherman Hall, who gives a harrowing account of the breakup of his stabilator-equipped Seneca on Dec. Hall says that during the test flight to probe for flutter tolerances, he took the plane to 25, feet, high above the Cascade Mountain range in Washington state, pulsing the controls periodically to gauge the aircraft performance.
The aircraft was in trim, meaning that its pitch and bank were well under control by the pilot, and all was functioning normally. The nose of the plane pitched downward, both wings sheared off, part of the tail section and rear door were gone, and the windshields had blown out. People's Daily. Liberty Times in Chinese. Retrieved 12 April Retrieved 11 February Tzu chi News. Archived from the original on 13 November Retrieved 8 July Cineflix Productions.
The Namibian. Archived from the original on 19 April Xinhua News Agency. BBC News. The Guardian. The Observer. Retrieved 27 May CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 June China Airlines. Archived from the original on 1 March By Siva Govindasamy 3 Min Read. A relative front of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH cries as she walks past journalists at a hotel in Beijing March 9, The low reading was later determined to be erroneous, the error caused by not following the temperature probe manufacturer's instructions.
Tests and adjusted calculations later confirmed that the temperature of the joint was not substantially different from the ambient temperature. The temperature on the day of the launch was far lower than had been the case with previous launches: below freezing at Although the Ice Team had worked through the night removing ice, engineers at Rockwell still expressed concern.
Rockwell engineers watching the pad from their headquarters in Downey, California , were horrified when they saw the amount of ice. They feared that during launch, ice might be shaken loose and strike the shuttle's thermal protection tiles, possibly due to the aspiration induced by the jet of exhaust gas from the SRBs. Rocco Petrone , the head of Rockwell's space transportation division, and his colleagues viewed this situation as a launch constraint, and told Rockwell's managers at the Cape that Rockwell could not support a launch.
Rockwell's managers at the Cape voiced their concerns in a manner that led Houston-based mission manager Arnold Aldrich to go ahead with the launch. Aldrich decided to postpone the shuttle launch by an hour to give the Ice Team time to perform another inspection. The following account of the accident is derived from real time telemetry data and photographic analysis, as well as from transcripts of air-to-ground and mission control voice communications.
With the first vertical motion of the vehicle, the gaseous hydrogen vent arm retracted from the external tank ET but failed to latch back. Review of film shot by pad cameras showed that the arm did not re-contact the vehicle, and thus it was ruled out as a contributing factor in the accident.
It was later determined that these smoke puffs were caused by the opening and closing of the aft field joint of the right-hand SRB. The booster's casing had ballooned under the stress of ignition. This had occurred in previous launches, but each time the primary O-ring had shifted out of its groove and formed a seal.
Although the SRB was not designed to function this way, it appeared to work well enough, and Morton-Thiokol changed the design specs to accommodate this process, known as extrusion. While extrusion was taking place, hot gases leaked past a process called "blow-by" , damaging the O-rings until a seal was made. Investigations by Morton-Thiokol engineers determined that the amount of damage to the O-rings was directly related to the time it took for extrusion to occur, and that cold weather, by causing the O-rings to harden, lengthened the time of extrusion.
The redesigned SRB field joint used subsequent to the Challenger accident used an additional interlocking mortise and tang with a third O-ring, mitigating blow-by.
On the morning of the disaster, the primary O-ring had become so hard due to the cold that it could not seal in time. The temperature had dropped below the glass transition temperature of the O-rings. Above the glass transition temperature, the O-rings display properties of elasticity and flexibility, while below the glass transition temperature, they become rigid and brittle.
The secondary O-ring was not in its seated position due to the metal bending. There was now no barrier to the gases, and both O-rings were vaporized across 70 degrees of arc. Aluminum oxides from the burned solid propellant sealed the damaged joint, temporarily replacing the O-ring seal before flame passed through the joint.
Unknown to those on Challenger or in Houston, hot gas had begun to leak through a growing hole in one of the right-hand SRB joints. The force of the wind shear shattered the temporary oxide seal that had taken the place of the damaged O-rings, removing the last barrier to flame passing through the joint. Had it not been for the wind shear, the fortuitous oxide seal might have held through booster burnout. Within a second, the plume became well defined and intense. The nozzles of the main engines pivoted under computer control to compensate for the unbalanced thrust produced by the booster burn-through.
At this stage the situation still seemed normal both to the crew and to flight controllers. Covey informed the crew that they were "go at throttle up", and Commander Dick Scobee confirmed, "Roger, go at throttle up"; this was the last communication from Challenger on the air-to-ground loop. The last statement captured by the crew cabin recorder came just half a second after this acceleration, when Pilot Michael J. Smith said, "Uh-oh. At the same time, the right SRB rotated about the forward attach strut, and struck the intertank structure.
The external tank at this point suffered a complete structural failure, the LH2 and LOX tanks rupturing, mixing, and igniting, creating a fireball that enveloped the whole stack. The two SRBs, which could withstand greater aerodynamic loads, separated from the ET and continued in uncontrolled powered flight.
The SRB casings were made of half-inch-thick The Thiokol engineers who had opposed the decision to launch were watching the events on television.
They had believed that any O-ring failure would have occurred at liftoff, and thus were happy to see the shuttle successfully leave the launch pad. At about one minute after liftoff, a friend of Boisjoly said to him "Oh God.
We made it. We made it! Pete Aldridge recalled, "I was waiting for the orbiter, as we all were, to come out of the smoke. But as soon as that explosion occurred, Crippen obviously knew what it was. His head dropped. I remember this so distinctly". In Mission Control, there was a burst of static on the air-to-ground loop as Challenger disintegrated. FIDO responded that "the [ radar ] filter has discreting sources", a further indication that Challenger had broken into multiple pieces.
Moments later, the Ground Control Officer reported "negative contact and loss of downlink " of radio and telemetry data from Challenger. Greene ordered his team to "watch your data carefully" and look for any sign that the Orbiter had escaped. This was a normal contingency procedure, undertaken because the RSO judged the free-flying SRBs a possible threat to land or sea.
The same destruct signal would have destroyed the external tank had it not already disintegrated. Public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt reported: "Flight controllers here are looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction. We have no downlink. On the Mission Control loop, Greene ordered that contingency procedures be put into effect; these procedures included locking the doors of the control center, shutting down telephone communications with the outside world, and following checklists that ensured that the relevant data were correctly recorded and preserved.
Nesbitt relayed this information to the public: "We have a report from the Flight Dynamics Officer that the vehicle has exploded. The flight director confirms that. We are looking at checking with the recovery forces to see what can be done at this point. The crew cabin, made of reinforced aluminum, was a particularly robust section of the orbiter.
The forces involved at this stage were probably insufficient to cause major injury. At least some of the crew were alive and at least briefly conscious after the breakup, as three of the four recovered Personal Egress Air Packs PEAPs on the flight deck were found to have been activated. Astronaut Mike Mullane wrote that "There had been nothing in our training concerning the activation of a PEAP in the event of an in-flight emergency.
The fact that Judy or El had done so for Mike Smith made them heroic in my mind. While analyzing the wreckage, investigators discovered that several electrical system switches on pilot Mike Smith 's right-hand panel had been moved from their usual launch positions.
Mike Mullane wrote, "These switches were protected with lever locks that required them to be pulled outward against a spring force before they could be moved to a new position. Whether the crew members remained conscious long after the breakup is unknown, and largely depends on whether the detached crew cabin maintained pressure integrity. If it did not, the time of useful consciousness at that altitude is just a few seconds; the PEAPs supplied only unpressurized air, and hence would not have helped the crew to retain consciousness.
If, on the other hand, the cabin was not depressurized or only slowly depressurizing, they may have been conscious for the entire fall until impact. Recovery of the cabin found that the middeck floor had not suffered buckling or tearing, as would result from a rapid decompression, thus providing some evidence that the depressurization may not have happened suddenly.
The crew would have been torn from their seats and killed instantly by the extreme impact force. A medical doctor and former astronaut, Kerwin was a veteran of the Skylab 2 mission. According to the Kerwin Report:. The findings are inconclusive. The impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface was so violent that evidence of damage occurring in the seconds which followed the disintegration was masked.
Our final conclusions are:. Some experts believe most if not all of the crew were alive and possibly conscious during the entire descent until impact with the ocean. Scob fought for any and every edge to survive. He flew that ship without wings all the way down During powered flight of the space shuttle, crew escape was not possible.
Launch escape systems were considered several times during shuttle development, but NASA's conclusion was that the shuttle's expected high reliability would preclude the need for one. Modified SR Blackbird ejection seats and full pressure suits were used for the two-man crews on the first four shuttle orbital missions, which were considered test flights, but they were removed for the "operational" missions that followed. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board later declared, after the Columbia re-entry disaster , that the space shuttle system should never have been declared operational because it is experimental by nature due to the limited number of flights as compared to certified commercial aircraft.
The multi-deck design of the crew cabin precluded use of such ejection seats for larger crews. Providing some sort of launch escape system had been considered, but deemed impractical due to "limited utility, technical complexity and excessive cost in dollars, weight or schedule delays".
After the loss of Challenger , the question was re-opened, and NASA considered several different options, including ejector seats, tractor rockets, and emergency egress through the bottom of the orbiter. NASA once again concluded that all of the launch escape systems considered would be impractical due to the sweeping vehicle modifications that would have been necessary and the resultant limitations on crew size.
A system was designed to give the crew the option to leave the shuttle during gliding flight , but this system would not have been usable in the Challenger situation.
President Ronald Reagan had been scheduled to give the State of the Union Address on the evening of the Challenger disaster. After a discussion with his aides, Reagan postponed the State of the Union, and instead addressed the nation about the disaster from the Oval Office of the White House. Reagan's national address was written by Peggy Noonan , and was listed as one of the most significant speeches of the 20th century in a survey of communication scholars.
We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God. Three days later, Ronald and Nancy Reagan traveled to the Johnson Space Center to speak at a memorial service honoring the crew members, where he stated:.
Sometimes, when we reach for the stars, we fall short. But we must pick ourselves up again and press on despite the pain. It was attended by 6, NASA employees and 4, guests,   as well as by the families of the crew.Dec 03, · A preliminary report released Friday by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau laid out the first official, detailed account of what happened after the midair disintegration of a Rolls-Royce.