The largest piece of debris from NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger has been discovered by a documentary film crew on the seabed near the Bermuda Triangle area..
Documentary program filmmakers “The Bermuda Triangle: in the cursed waters” on the History Channel discovered debris while searching for the wreckage of a plane that crashed during World War II, Space reported on November 10. NASA has confirmed that it is a fragment of the Challenger spacecraft. based on the modern structure of the object and the existence of a 20 cm heat shield. This part of the Challenger ship was discovered off Florida’s Space Coast, northwest of the Bermuda Triangle.
Divers examine debris from the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Divers examine the wreckage of the Space Shuttle Challenger. (Photo: History)
On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after its 25th launch. after the seal valve of one of the vehicle’s two solid fuel rocket engines failed. STS-51L crew of NASA, including Commander Francis “Dick” Scobee, pilot Mike Smith, mission specialists Ron McNair, Ellison Onizuka and Judy Resnik, cargo specialist Greg Jarvis and the teacher who died in the accident.
A large-scale search and rescue operation was organized after the tragedy. It was the largest search and rescue operation conducted by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard at the time. The activity brought together thousands of people, 16 surface ships, a nuclear-powered research submarine, several manned and automated submarines to examine 1,666 square kilometers of seabed at depths of 3 to 365 mr.
After 7 months, 167 parts of the space shuttle, weighing a total of 118 tons, were recovered. After investigating the cause of the incident, the debris was placed in two containers in Complexes 31 and 32 of the Cape Canaveral Space Station, each measuring 24 m in depth and 4 m in diameter. The pair of containers is not a place to bury or memorialize the Challenger, but serves as a storage facility.
The film crew’s discovery marks the first major debris from the STS-51L disaster in more than 25 years. “By viewing the images provided by the film crew, we can see a part of approximately 4.5 x 4.5 m. However, we found that the object penetrated deep into the sand layer, so its true size is difficult to determine at the moment. But I am convinced that this is one of the largest pieces of Challenger ever discovered. »said Mike Cianelli, manager of NASA’s Apollo, Challenger and Columbia Lessons programs.
The History Channel film crew had no intention of searching for the Challenger wreck. Instead, in March 2022, they conducted a series of exploratory dives to study a number of vehicle wrecks off the coast of Florida, including a target located outside the Bermuda Triangle, in off Cape Canaveral. Initially, the divers wanted to find the wreckage of the PBM rescue plane Martin Mariner which disappeared without a trace on December 5, 1945. At that time, this plane was searching for five US Navy torpedo bombers from the Flight 19 mission which disappeared the same day.
Instead of wreckage from a World War II-era plane, the dive team discovered a structure that appeared modern. After consulting with experts and completing the dive in May 2022, the film crew sent evidence to former NASA astronaut Bruce Melnick. He suspected it was a fragment of the Challenger ship. Based on this information, the program producer informed NASA of the discovery and in August 2022, Ciannelli officially confirmed that the object came from the crashed space shuttle.
Article source: VnExpress
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The largest piece of debris from NASA’s space shuttle Challenger has been discovered by a documentary film crew on the seafloor near the Bermuda Triangle.