Challenger Explosion Papers

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Challenger Explosion Jade De La Torre Montebello Intermediate School 8th Grade Abstract The Challenger shuttle explosion was a devastating time for Americans, resulting in seven deaths. This explosion changed the United States’ space program, NASA. The Challenger shuttle contained six astronauts and a teacher from New Hampshire who had won a special contest that would allow one teacher to go up into space with a full crew and teach students from across the country from the shuttle up in space. The day of the explosion was on the shuttle’s tenth launch mission where it had been below forty degrees making it one of the coldest temperatures a shuttle has ever launched in. Many spectators waited patiently for the Challenger…show more content…
The other members on the shuttle were: Francis R. Schobee (spacecraft commander), Michael J. Smith (pilot), Judith A. Resnik, Ronald E. McNair, Ellison S. Onizuka (all mission specialists), and Gregory B. Jarvis (payload specialist) (CNN Library). The Challenger’s tenth mission was on January 28, 1984 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (History). The morning of the launch had been thirty-eight degrees, making it the coldest temperature for any shuttle launch. Similarly, the night before the shuttle’s tenth launch had been only twenty-four degrees (Encyclopedia). The shuttle was originally supposed to launch on January 22nd but was instead pushed back because of several technical malfunctions (Howell). With cold overnight temperatures, the shuttle’s O-rings (a gasket in the form of a ring with a circular cross section, typically made of pliable material, used to seal connections in pipes, tubes, etc.) had stiffened. Engineers had expected O-ring failures at the Challenger’s lift off. They knew that the stiff O-rings didn’t provide a secure seal for the shuttle’s rocket boosters. Despite the fact that engineers predicted the O-ring failures, NASA did not call off the launch because there wasn’t enough evidence to determine that the O-rings would fail…show more content…
It did not take long for the shuttle to explode. In fact, the shuttle broke up about seventy-three seconds after the launch. Spectators below had not known that there had been malfunction (History). On an earlier flight of the Challenger, there had been evidence of leakage called a blow by (Berkes). It was discovered that the reason for the explosion had been connected to the O-ring failures as predicted. O-rings are made to separate the sections of the rocket boosters but the rings on the Challenger had failed because of cold temperatures. The failures caused a break in the SRB (solid rocket booster) joint. The break had let in pressurized hot gas inside the rocket motor to reach outside air. This effected the SRB attachment. In the end, aerodynamic forces broke up the Challenger shuttle (Byrd). After the explosion, Rogers Commission, a special commission, was tasked to find out more information about the cause of the explosion (OutterSpaceUniverse). A salvage operation was put together to find the wreckage and the crew. This was a complicated task because of how strong the explosion had been (Encyclopedia

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