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« I Never Planned in My Imagination | Main | Hey, NASA: In Honor of Dark Week*, the Manned Space Program Has Been Cancelled »

"Is That Trouble?"

Over two and a half decades after a the loss of Challenger, an amateur videotape has surfaced:


You can start seeing the exhaust trail from the solid rocket boosters in the middle of the shot at the :38 second mark.

Listen for the voices of the people speaking to one another, trying to piece together what happened.  After a while someone goes inside to check the TV news.  We had already, then, entered the era of Get The Answers Now.

It's chilling, and instructive; we've all seen the close-up footage shot at the Kennedy Space Center, but this is the first time I've watched the detonation of the solid rocket boosters.

It took longer than I thought it would. I mean, I knew this took place rather shortly (about thirty seconds or so) after the explosion, the range safety officer just doing the job he was hoping he'd never have to do.  I really don't want to imagine what was going on throughout those thirty seconds in that person's head.  That was a long, long thirty seconds.

Notice at the very end of the clip, the camera pans down to a sheet-covered shrub, a haunting reminder of the cold weather the boosters suffered on the pad the night before.

This has just been hanging around the basement of the man who shot it, and then its distribution was further inhibited by the fact that this was recorded on... wait for it... a Beta tape, and nobody could find a player.  Annnnnd further proof that even in the darkest moments, God finds a way to make us smile.  Even if it's over 25 years after the fact.

This seared all of us old enough to remember, but just when we think we know everything there is to know... there's another angle.

wondering which part of Central FL this was at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (10)

[...] Thursday, February 4th, 2010 | Just Published | morningworksmedia New footage of the Challenger disaster has surfaced. Share and [...]

Wrenching stuff, listening to their anticipation and waiting for the sudden, branching fork that I know is coming. I remember.

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterlynD

That is incredible. Just...I don't even know what to say; to think someone had this and it survived all these years.

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

[...] From BlondeChampagne, amateur footage of the Challenger explosion. [...]

JS The Reader, you left a comment which somehow isn't showing up here. I think you were asking a technical question which is way beyond my ken, as it involved more than opening an Internet browser window. I invite you to check with Josh The Pilot on any and all things feed and Twitterpated related.

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB

I can only repeat what my husband said while we stood watching the TV coverage those many years ago - "It never gets any better, does it?" (meaning yep, no matter how many times we watch this footage, the vehicle still explodes).

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

"That's brighter than usual!"

Pretty impressive historical document. I'll have to share it at The Grail. Thanks

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

Wow. This made me shiver.

Hard to watch...the guy's commentary was so sedate but so chilling.... "That's some kind of trouble there," he must have repeated that 10 times.


February 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

You're right, MB--I asked how you get the posts you make here at Wordpress to show up on your Facebook page. I don't have a Twitter account, but is there another way I might get in touch with JTP to ask him about these technical miracles?

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterj.s.

He's on Facebook. Search my name and he should show up as a connection.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB
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