This essay Introduction to the Accident has a total of 1232 words and 5 pages.
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Introduction to the Accident
It was a clear sunny day at Kennedy Space Center in Florida with a temperature of 36 degrees which was 15 degrees cooler than NASA has ever sent a shuttle to space. Aboard the space shuttle was a civilian school teacher which made the Challenger such a publicized event. After being delayed five times from bad weather the Challenger was schueled to be launched at 11:38 AM Eastern Standard time on January 28, 1986. Seventy-three seconds after leaving the launch pad 39B the Challenger would explode.
The Challenger Tragedy
The problems started .6 seconds after ignition. With the temperature
at 15 degrees below the NASA experience mark, a black smoke started
to come out of the bottom field joint of the right SRB. The black smoke was the O-Rings and the joint insulation being burned. The smoke averaged at about three puffs per second. Then the last puff of smoke was seen was at 2.7 seconds which was an indication that the field joint was not sealed correctly.
The arrow points to the black smoke.
The second problem was at forty-five seconds when three bright flashes were seen on the Challenger\'s wings. Each flash lasted approximately one thirteenth of a second. When the film was enhanced it is clearly visible that the flashes were coming from the right SRB. The three hundred and five degree flame was coming from the aft center of the aft joint of the SRB. The flame was the gas burning that was coming out of the SRB. At fifty nine point three seconds the flame was clearly visible with the naked eye. As the flame increased in size, the flame had begun to push against the external tank by the rushing air around the orbiter. This made the struts that held on the SRB very weak because of the heat. Sixty four point seven seconds was the first sight that the flame was hitting the external tank. The color of the flame changed. The flame color change indicated that the flame was mixing with the hydrogen substance that the external contained. The top tanks were oxygen and the bottom was hydrogen. The flame also indicated that there was a leak in the hydrogen portion of the external tank. A small glowing light appeared between the external tank and the Challenger\'s black tiles forty-five milliseconds after the color change.
The small orange glowing light is visible.