February 22, 2012

Video: Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Caught on Tape from Orlando Airport

Newly released amateur footage (seen below) of the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy has surfaced 26 years after the 1986 disaster.

The one minute, twenty second clip comes from New Scientist, where an employee obtained the footage from her video camera-toting father, Hicksville, NY, resident Bob Karman. The family was about to board a flight back to New York following a vacation, and was filming from the windows inside a terminal at Orlando International Airport during the fateful launch, about 50 miles east of the airport.

Mr. Karman was only lightly skeptical that something had gone wrong, but did not know for sure until they had boarded their flight and informed by the Captain.

This is only the second known amateur footage of the incident, after Optometrist Dr. Jack Moss’ footage from his Winter Haven, Florida, home surfaced in January of 2010 from his deathbed. He had used a Betamax recorder, whereas Karman utilized VHS.

All seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger died after the craft disintegrated 73 seconds into their flight. A faulty O-ring seal on the right solid rocket booster after unusually cold temperatures was blamed.