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Space shuttle Challenger explosion, new amateur video, January 28, 1986

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Published on May 22, 2012

From of Orlando Sentinel web site. New amateur video of Challenger explosion released
10:39 a.m. EST, May 1, 2012|
By Scott Powers, Orlando Sentinel
Twenty-six years later, images of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster still stop breath -- and remind everyone of the dangers of human space flight.
A newly-released amateur video of the Challenger explosion, shot by retiree Steven Virostek on Jan. 28, 1986, has been made available online exclusively to The Huffington Post website, http://www.huffingtonpost.com.
Virostek and his wife Hope had retired from Rhode Island to Titusville in part because of their love of space exploration and launches, Huffington Post reported. The video begins a few seconds before Challenger's launch and continues well after the debris is seen plummeting toward the Atlantic Ocean.
Hope Virostek begins cheering for teacher Christa McAuliffe -- a New Hampshire elementary school teacher selected to be the first educator in space -- as the rocket lifts, "C'mon, Chris! ... Go Chris, Go! Beautiful! Oh, beautiful, Chris! ... Go, Chris, Go!"
After the explosion, 73 seconds into the flight, Hope recognizes disaster immediately, and the video records her breakdown to total despair: "Oh, no! Oh dear, God no!.. Oh dear God, what happened? What happened? What happened?"
Later, she declares: "May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace."
The Huffington Post acquired rights to the video through the couple's niece, Tricia Hunt.
In addition to McAuliffe, the disaster killed astronauts Greg Jarvis, Ronald McNair, EllisonOnizuka, Judith Resnik, pilot Michael J. Smith and commander Dick Scobee.
The explosion, which rocked a world watching on TV because of the historic inclusion of McAuliffe, was caused when an O-ring seal failed in one of the booster rockets. Besides the immediate tragedy, the explosion caused NASA to suspend the shuttle program for 32 months for officials to investigate and respond to the failure.
smpowers@tribune.com

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