On the morning of January 28, 1986, NASA faced its first shuttle disaster when the Challenger space shuttle exploded in the Florida skies just 73 seconds after takeoff.
The explosion resulted in the loss of all seven astronauts on board.
Reddit user AmericanMustache recently discovered unreleased photos of the tragedy in his grandfather’s attic, while clearing it out after his grandmother passed away. The pictures were taken by one of his grandpa’s friends when they worked at NASA together.
“My grandfather worked for NASA as a contractor for years (electrical work on the crawler and the launch tower),” wrote the Redditor. “So he got to see just about every launch. His friend was the one who took these shots (they worked for NASA together). He gave him a copy of the prints and somehow they got mixed in and forgot about for years until I found them the other day.”
Even if you were still a fetus-in-pending when the explosion happened, the Challenger might still ring a bell. Beyonce recently made a lot of people unhappy when she used an audio clip from its explosion in a new song about having sex:
In spite of this tragic disaster, NASA has launched many successful missions that continue to better mankind. If space exploration gets you excited, you owe it to yourself to check out the National Space Society, which is advocating for a bright future in space. Click the red button to learn more, donate and Become the News!