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2007-12-26, 11:25

STS-51-L Challenger

För Challenger och dess besättning blev detta ett dramatiskt slut som skulle chocka en hel nation.

Starten skedde klockan 11:38 (EST) 28 januari  1986 från Pad 39A vid  Kennedy Space Center i Florida. Landning för åter resan var planerad till 3 feb Kl 12:12 p.m. EST. Challengers färd tid blev endast 1 minut 13 sekunder.

För Challenger och dess besättning blev det ett dramatiskt slut. Som skulle chocka en hel nation. 73 sekunder efter start felade en o-ring i en av de externa fastbränsleraketerna ( ett fel i tätningen på den externa tanken med väte och helium) , vilket fick till följd att farkosten totalförstördes och att alla ombordvarande omkom.

Dess besättning bestod av.

Francis R Scobe, befälhavare
Michael J Smith, pilot
Judith A Resnik, uppdragsspecialist
Ellison S Onizuka, uppdragsspecialist.
Gregory E McNair, uppdragsspecialist.
Chirsta McAuliffe, nyttolastspecialist.

Christa McAuliffe skulle ha tagit del i TISP-programmet   (teacer in space prodject). Då hon var den första läraren som skulle ha deltagit i rymdfärjeprogrammet som astronaut placerades ett symboliskt äpple efter hennes namn på uppdragsemblemet.

STS-51L Mission Patch

Launch of Space Shuttle Challenger 



Solid rocket ignition command is sent.

**Solid rocket ignition command is sent.

Astronaut Judy Resnik, intercom: "Aaall Riight!"


First of eight 25-inch-long, 7-inch-wide exploding bolts fire, four at the base of each booster, freeing Challenger from launch pad.


First continuous vertical motion is recorded.


Film developed later shows the first evidence of abnormal black smoke appearing slightly above the suspect O-ring joint in Challenger's right-hand solid rocket booster.


The black smoke appears darkest; jets in puffs of three per second, roughly matching harmonic characteristics of the shuttle vehicle at launch.


Ground launch sequence computers begin post-liftoff "safing" of launch pad structures and equipment.


Shuttle pilot Michael Smith, intercom: "Here we go."


Last positive evidence of smoke above the aft attach fitting that holds the rear of the right-side booster to the external fuel tank. The aft attach fitting is a little less than two feet above the fuel segment joint.


Last positive visual indication of smoke swirling under the bottom of the external fuel tank.

Launch commentator Hugh Harris, NASA-SELECT television: "… Liftoff of the 25th space shuttle mission, and it has cleared the tower."


The three liquid-fueled main engines throttle up from 90 percent thrust to 104 percent thrust as planned.


Data processing systems (DPS) engineer A.F. Algate, mission control, Houston: "Liftoff confirmed."

Flight director Jay Greene, Houston: "Liftoff…"

Loss of data from the shuttle at NASA's Merritt Island antenna complex for four data frames. Four more "data BIT-synch dropouts" occur in the next one minute and six seconds. These are normal and are caused by flame and objects on the horizon that attenuate radio signals.


The backup flight system computer aboard Challenger commands the S-band PM (phase modulated) and S-band FM radio systems to switch antennas to maintain communications during the upcoming roll maneuver.


Internal pressure in the right-side booster is recorded as 11.8 pounds per square inch higher than normal.


The shuttle clears the launch pad tower and begins a maneuver to roll over, putting the crew in a "heads down" position below the external tank.


Shuttle commander Dick Scobee, air-to-ground: "Houston, Challenger. Roll program."


Astronaut Dick Covey, mission control: "Roger roll, Challenger."

Flight dynamics officer (FIDO) Brian Perry, mission control: "Good roll, flight."

Greene: "Rog, good roll."


Smith, intercom: "Go you mother."


Another antenna switch is ordered to transfer data to the Ponce De Leon tracking station.


Resnik, intercom: "LVLH." Resnik is reminding Scobee and Smith about proper cockpit ADI configurations. "LVLH" is an acronym that stands for "local vertical, local horizontal."


Resnik, intercom: "[expletive] hot!"

Scobee: "OK."


Mission Control spokesman Steve Nesbitt in Houston, NASA-SELECT television: "Good roll program confirmed. Challenger now heading downrange."


Smith, intercom: "Looks like we've got a lot of wind here today."

Scobee: "Yeah."


Challenger's three main engines receive commands to begin throttling down to 94 percent power, as planned.


The roll maneuver is completed and Challenger is on the proper trajectory.


Right hand SRB thrust decreases before shuttle reaches maximum dynamic pressure. This is accomplished by the burn down of ridges in the solid propellant of the forward fuel segment. Thrust is a function of surface area of propellant burning.


Scobee, intercom: "It's a little hard to see out my window here."


Left hand SRB thrust decreases as planned.


Booster systems engineer (Booster) Jerry Borrer, mission control: "Throttle down to 94." Challenger's three main engines begin throttling down as planned as the shuttle approaches the region of maximum aerodynamic pressure.

Greene: "Ninety four…"


Smith, intercom: "There's 10,000 feet and Mach point five." The shuttle is 10,000 feet high traveling at half the speed of sound.

Nesbitt: "Engines beginning throttling down, now at 94 percent. Normal throttle (setting) for most of the flight is 104 percent. We'll throttle down to 65 percent shortly.


Scobee, intercom: "Point nine."


The three main engines begin throttling down to 65 percent power as planned.


Telemetry data shows the shuttle's computer system responds properly to wind shear to adjust the ship's flight path.


Smith, intercom: "There's Mach 1."

Scobee: "Going through 19,000."


Scobee, intercom: "OK, we're throttling down."


Nesbitt: "Engines are at 65 percent. Three engines running normally…"


A flash is observed downstream of the shuttle's right wing.


A second flash is seen trailing the right wing.


A third unexplained flash is seen downstream of the shuttle's right-hand wing. 70 mm tracking camera closeup: A brilliant orange ball of flame, apparently, emerges from under the right wing and quickly merges with the plume of the solid rocket boosters. This phenomenon, observed during analysis of tracking film after launch, has been seen on previous launches.


Booster systems engineer: "Three at 65."

Nesbitt: "… Three good fuel cells. Three good APUs (auxiliary power units)…"

Greene: Sixty-five, FIDO…"

FIDO: "T-del confirms throttles." The flight dynamics officer is referring to computer software monitoring the flight in real-time.

Greene: "…Thank you."


Challenger's main engines receive commands from the onboard flight computers to begin throttling back up to 104 percent thrust as planned.


Nesbitt: "Velocity 2,257 feet per second (1,539 mph), altitude 4.3 nautical miles, downrange distance 3 nautical miles…"


Scobee, intercom: "Throttling up."

Smith: "Throttle up."

Scobee: "Roger."


Tracking cameras show the first evidence of an abnormal plume on the right-hand solid rocket booster facing away from the shuttle. Scobee and Smith had no data on the performance of the solid rockets except for a software system that would have alerted them to malfunctions in the booster steering mechanism.

Challenger passes through the region of maximum aerodynamic pressure, experiencing 720 pounds per square foot.


A continuous "well defined intense plume" of exhaust is seen on the side of the suspect booster by tracking cameras. This is clear evidence of an O-ring joint burn through.


First visual evidence of flame on the right-side booster. 70 mm tracking camera closeup: A flickering tongue of flame appears on the side of the right-side booster away from the shuttle and quickly becomes continuous.


Smith, intercom: "Feel that mother go!"

Unknown, intercom: "Wooooo Hooooo!"


Data radioed from Challenger shows the internal pressure in the right-side SRB begins dropping. This is because of the rapidly increasing hole in the failed joint.



First evidence of flame from the rupture deflecting and impinging on the external fuel tank.


First evidence of the anomalous plume "attaching" to the fitting that couples the aft end of the right-side rocket to the base of the external fuel tank.


The plume deflection is continuous. 70 mm tracking camera closeup: A thick, well-defined plume of flame arcs away from right solid rocket booster.


The shuttle rolls slightly in response to high winds aloft.


- Smith, intercom: "Thirty-five thousand, going through one point five."


The steering mechanism of the left-hand booster suddenly moves on computer command as Challenger's flight control system compensates for wind shear. It is later noted that wind shear during Challenger's launch was more extreme than for any of the previous 24 shuttle missions, although still within design limits.


Challenger's computers order the shuttle's right-hand "elevon," or wing flap, to move suddenly.


A pressure change is recorded in the right-hand outboard elevon, indicating movement.


The shuttle's computers order a planned change in Challenger's pitch to ensure the proper angle of attack during this phase of the trajectory.


The plume from the burn through changes shape suddenly, indicating a leak has started in the shuttle's liquid hydrogen tank to fuel the fire.


A bright, sustained glow is photographed on the side of the external fuel tank.


The main engine nozzles move through relatively large arcs, trying to keep the shuttle on course as the flight computers attempt to compensate for the unbalanced thrust produced by the booster burn through. The shuttle stops the minute pitching. It is doubtful the crew was aware of the computers' efforts to keep the ship on course given the normal vibrations and acceleration experienced during this phase of flight.


Scobee, intercom: "Reading four eighty six on mine."

Smith: "Yep, that's what I've got, too."


First recorded evidence of Challenger experiencing transient motion.


Data shows the left wing's outboard elevon moves suddenly.


Booster systems engineer: "Throttle up, three at 104."

Greene: "Capcom (Covey), go at throttle up."


Tracking cameras show a bright spot suddenly appears in the exhaust plume from the side of the right-side solid rocket motor and bright spots are detected on the side of the rocket facing the belly of the shuttle.


The pressure in the shuttle's external liquid hydrogen tank begins to drop, indicating a massive leak. Smith had real-time readings of pressure in the liquid hydrogen tank, but it is doubtful he noticed anything unusual because of the rapidity of the failure. It made no difference, ultimately, because even if Challenger's pilots had suspected an SRB problem there was nothing they could have done about it. While the shuttle separates from its external fuel tank shortly before reaching orbit, it does so with no engines firing and in a benign aerodynamic environment. Separating from the tank while the SRBs were firing would drive the shuttle into the bottom of the fuel tank and the SRB exhaust plumes.


The abnormal plumes on the bottom and top of the booster appear to merge into one. This means the flame has wrapped around the joint as the leak deteriorated.


Telemetry indicates falling pressure in the 17-inch-wide liquid oxygen propellant lines feeding the three main engines.


Nesbitt: "Engines are throttling up. Three engines now at 104 percent."

Covey: "Challenger, go at throttle up."


Scobee, air-to-ground: "Roger, go at throttle up."


Data shows divergent up and down motions of the nozzles at the base of both solid rocket boosters.


The two solid rocket boosters change position relative to each other, indicating the right-side booster apparently has pulled away from one of the struts that connected its aft end to the external fuel tank. TV tracking camera: A large ball of orange fire appears higher on the other side of main fuel tank, closer to Challenger's cabin, and grows rapidly.


A "major high rate actuator command" is recorded from one of the boosters, indicating extreme nozzle motions.


The nozzles of the three liquid-fueled main engines begin moving at high rates: Five degrees per second.


Data shows a sudden lateral acceleration to the right jolts the shuttle with a force of .227 times normal gravity. This may have been felt by the crew.


Start of liquid hydrogen pressure decrease. Solid rocket boosters continue showing high nozzle motion rates.


Challenger beams back what turns out to be its final navigation update.


Main engine liquid oxygen propellant pressures begin falling sharply at turbopump inlets.

T+73.000 (approximate)

Smith, intercom: "Uh oh…" This is the last comment captured by the crew cabin intercom recorder. Smith may have been responding to indications on main engine performance or falling pressures in the external fuel tank.


Last data is captured by the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite in orbit overhead, indicating structural breakup has begun in that area.


Start of sharp decrease in liquid hydrogen pressure to the main engines.


Another lateral acceleration, this one to the left, is possibly felt by the crew. Lateral acceleration equals .254 time the force of gravity.


Internal pressure in the right-side rocket booster is recorded as 19 pounds per square inch below that of its counterpart, indicating about 100,000 pounds less thrust. Tracking cameras detect evidence of a circumferential white pattern on the left side of the base of the external tank indicating a massive rupture near the SRB-tank attach ring. This apparently is caused by the aft dome of the liquid hydrogen tank failing. The resulting forward acceleration begins pushing the tank up into the liquid oxygen section in the tip of the external fuel tank.


Vapors appear near the intertank section separating the hydrogen and oxygen sections accompanied by liquid hydrogen spillage from the aft dome of the external tank.


All three main engines respond to loss of oxygen and hydrogen inlet pressure.


Ground cameras show a sudden cloud of rocket fuel appearing along the side of the external tank. This indicates the nose of the right-hand booster may have pivoted into the intertank area, compounding the liquid oxygen rupture.


A sudden brilliant flash is photographed between the shuttle and the external tank. TV tracking camera: Fireballs merge into bright yellow and red mass of flame that engulfs Challenger. A single crackling noise is heard on air-to-ground radio. Engineers later say the sound is the result of ground transmitters searching the shuttle's frequency range for a signal.


Telemetry data from the main engines exhibit interference for the next tenth of a second.


An explosion occurs near the forward part of the tank where the solid rocket boosters attach.


The explosion intensifies and begins consuming the external fuel tank. Television tracking camera: a ball of brilliant white erupts from the area beneath the shuttle's nose.


The white flash in the intertank area greatly intensifies.


Tank pressure for on board supplies of maneuvering rocket fuel begins to fluctuate.


Data indicates the liquid-fueled main engines are approaching redline limits on their powerful fuel pumps.


Channel A of main engine No. 2's control computer votes for engine shutdown because of high pressure fuel turbopump discharge temperature. Channel B records two strikes for shutdown.


Main engine No. 3 begins shutdown because of high temperatures in its high pressure fuel pump. Last data captured by main engine No. 3's controller.


Main engine No. 1 begins shutdown because of high temperatures in high pressure fuel pump.


Last telemetry from main engine No. 1.


The last valid telemetry from the shuttle is recorded as it breaks up: pressure fluctuations in a fuel tank in the left rocket pod at Challenger's rear and chamber pressure changes in auxiliary power unit No. 1's gas generator.


End of last data frame.


Last radio signal from orbiter.


A bright flash is observed in the vicinity of the orbiter's nose. Television tracking camera closeup: The nose of the shuttle and the crew compartment suddenly engulfed in brilliant orange flame, presumably caused by ignition or burning of rocket fuel in the

Av: medde

Datum för publicering

  • 2007-12-26

♥ Cogito, ergo sum ♥ May the force be with you ♥

2007-12-28, 21:42

Men vi blickar framåt till ca 10 jan 08, självklart går allt bra då.

♥ Cogito, ergo sum ♥ May the force be with you ♥

2007-12-29, 05:20

Denna hemska olycka krossade mitt hjärta. Som rymdfreak som jag är så satt jag och tittade på det live på TV. Och när det hände så krossades mitt lilla hjärta.

Det var inte en daglig händelse att de visade uppskjut på TV. Det var ju tiden  innan kabel-tv och datorns ankomst till oss. Men det visades just för att det var första gången som en icke astronaut skickades med upp.

Usch, efter den händelsen så har jag blivit väldigt skrockfull och måste gå igenom konstiga saker ifall jag ska titta på lift-off. Ungefär som att jag helst måste ha på mig landslagströjan i hockey- vm.  /Vanessa

Kata(rina), f.d. Vanessa som är mitt mellannamn.

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