Questions tagged [shuttle-challenger]

The space shuttle Orbiter Challenger (OV-099) was the second US shuttle to fly in space. Originally built as a structural test article, it was converted into a spaceworthy Orbiter. It launched on space missions 10 times between April 1983 and January 1986. On its last mission STS-51L it was destroyed during first stage ascent.

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Challenger "What if ?" regarding the SRB plume facing AWAY from the ET [duplicate]

If the plume on the SRB been facing away from the external tank, could the disaster had been averted ? Wouldn't one SRB exhaust its fuel before the other and as such, would a return to site been ...
Rusty Shackleford's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

What was the Lockheed design solution for the shuttle SRB field joint and how was it superior to the failure prone Morton Thiokol field joint?

In an effort to quickly post this question I've elected to (for the moment) not provide links to my searches. I've found tons of references, studies, reports, images etc to the failed Thiokol field ...
BradV's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers

Why were they using segmented boosters on Space Shuttle?

After learning how the solid fuel is protecting the casing of the SRB from the heat of the combustion in this answer I have to ask this question. As we know, it's exactly this segmentation of the ...
TrySCE2AUX's user avatar
  • 3,235
22 votes
2 answers

Space Shuttle Challenger bringing back Salyut-7

We know that on February 11 1985, right after the Soviets lost control of their Salyut-7 station. US Space tracking assets also started noticing that the station was starting to tumble. Kidnapping a ...
Jeroen Smink's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer

"Reading 486" air speed from Challenger disaster: What units?

Some of the last words from the doomed Challenger crew were "reading 486," which the Boston Globe describes as a routine air speed callout. Would this be vehicle speed relative to the air, ...
user avatar
18 votes
2 answers

Challenger Shuttle: could the crew have survived?

Some sources point out that the shuttle cabin stayed intact following the solid rocket booster explosion, and that in fact, it is likely the crew died upon the cabin impact into the ocean. The space ...
Jan Stuller's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers

Challenger hypothetical - what if the SRB breach faced outboard?

Slightly different Challenger question - what could have happened if the SRB breach had faced outboard, away from any attachment fittings or the ET? Would the SRB have failed completely prior to ...
John Bode's user avatar
  • 2,300
71 votes
3 answers

Did Feynman cite a fallacy about only circles having the same width in all directions as a reason for the Challenger disaster?

In a Math Overflow post about mathematical fallacies it was stated that: Richard Feynman regarded the mistake that a "circle is the only figure which has the same width in all directions" as one ...
StayOnTarget's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers

"LVLH" on Challenger's cockpit voice recording: What was that switch for?

Veteran astronaut and mission specialist Judy Resnick was tragically killed in the Challenger disaster. Her last recorded words aboard Challenger regarded scanning for "LVLH" (low-vertical/low-...
DrSheldon's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers

Could Dick Scobee have flown a RTLS on Challenger 51L

In a previous question, I explored whether or not, with a call up from an observant Flight Controller, the SRB’s could be separated from the STS-51L stack before the destruction of the ET tank at 73 ...
Challenger Truth's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer

Was a method available to save the Challenger Crew?

In a previous thread, I asked the question of the likelihood of the STS stack surviving an early separation of the SRB using the SRB manual separation switch on panel C3: Could the SRB's have ...
Challenger Truth's user avatar
29 votes
3 answers

Challenger disaster: how full was the external tank at the time of destruction?

We have all heard about the Challenger disaster. Reading the Vehicle breakup subsection, this sentence made me very curious: The external tank at this point suffered a complete structural failure, ...
le_daim's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers

How could aerodynamic forces break up the Challenger orbiter?

Wikipedia's explanation of the sequence of events: The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized hot gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the ...
AlanSE's user avatar
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