Remembering the Challenger shuttle

It was over in under two minutes. But the fragments of the Challenger space shuttle would take nearly an hour to splash down into the ocean. By midnight, about 95 percent of American adults had seen the video footage of the explosion. The question on everyone’s mind: What happened?

Uneasy Answers

It would take years, and the work of an independent commission, to find answers. In the meantime, NASA misled the public about the crew’s final moments. Also, the wreckage had to be handled. The recovery operation for debris and remains that hadn’t washed ashore was slow and dangerous, and it required the largest salvage operation in US Navy history.

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