|T O P I C R E V I E W|
|garyd2831||Is there any known footage of the Challenger accident from any airborne cameras? |
The question came to mind after watching "The Dream is Alive" and seeing the airborne footage of the launch.
|dabolton||In a similar train of thought: Columbia had onboard handheld camcorder footage that survived; would have similar footage had survived the ocean impact/immersion from Challenger (had they been aboard) in 1986?|
|garyd2831||I would probably say no to camera footage being found on the ocean floor. It was several weeks I believe before the destroyed crew compartment was found. My guess would be that the salt water at that depth would have destroyed any film found.|
I would still like to know if there is any airborne footage of the accident. It would be interesting to see from that attitude and angle a pilot would of had of the tragedy unfolding.
|dabolton||According to the new John Young biography, he witnessed the accident from a T-38. No indication if footage was obtained. |
|p51||I couldn't imagine such footage doesn't exist. This was a very well-covered launch due to the whole teacher in space angle, more so that any other launch (ironically, given what happened) prior to that, other than the first few test launches...|
|garyd2831||If footage does exist, it surely has been kept under wrap. I would have to agree due to the amount of attention given to the mission, I can't see why there wouldn't be any footage. In addition I would figure this would be footage that NASA would want to have for all fights for at least study purposes.|
|dabolton||I don't recall any mention of this in the accident report. It surely would have been called out as evidence.|
|Robert Pearlman||If I am not mistaken, aerial photography was expanded as a result of the loss of Challenger. After the initial test flights (STS-1 through STS-4), it wasn't deemed a requirement for flight.|
Also, media attention wouldn't have overruled closed airspace, and despite the attention to Christa McAuliffe, only one network (CNN) was providing live launch footage.
|Jay Chladek||Any aircraft airborne at the time over KSC would have been in support of an RTLS abort and Young was likely flying approaches to the KSC runway to report on weather conditions. Even though 51L might have garnered more press coverage than other recent flights due to the Teacher in Space angle (but with the launch coverage satellite feed only being carried on CNN as Robert said), to NASA at KSC, it was more or less still just a "typical" shuttle launch for them and considered routine.|
Challenger did likely have a standard set of internal television cameras and a video camcorder on hand, but they would have been stowed for flight. Camcorders back then were rather large beasts weighing a few pounds and you don't want to potentially risk damage if one pops loose during a rocket ascent.
|Headshot||I seem to recall a few years ago that someone had discovered aerial footage of the Challenger explosion.|
It wasn't really revelatory though. I believe it was taken with an 8mm movie camera by a civilian flying a private plane on the outskirts of the launch area no-fly envelope. It was hand-held, a bit jerky (no image stabilization), not in sharp focus, and the image of Challenger was almost invisible as the camera was not equipped with a decent telephoto lens. If the viewer knew the sequence of Challenger's destruction, he/she could tell what was happening by the rocket plumes, if he/she did not, then it would not have enlightened the viewer at all.
I do not recall where I saw it, but it may have been on CNN's site as one of those finding-a-piece-of-history-in-the-attic stories.
|Jay Chladek||I don't recall anything shot from a private plane, but two videos did surface (one of these being film based if I recall correctly). One was taken at the Orlando airport and the second one was I believe taken from the Causeway south of the pads. |
The Causeway footage provided the best angle of the destruction I had ever seen since you could see the breakup and the debris from the orbiter continuing an upward trajectory for a few seconds before beginning its fall. But as you say Headshot, it was a deal where one had to have studied the sequence of the breakup to identify what they were seeing. It was most certainly better than the TV pool feeds from back by the pad and the VAB.
Only other footage that I know of which surfaced were some black and white footage with tracking cameras at CCAFS which Range Safety uses in their determination whether or not a destruct command is needed (which they did issue to the SRBs after the breakup of the vehicle). That footage aired on the "When We Left Earth" series. It was a very tight in shot of the vehicle though, so it didn't necessarily reveal anymore than what had already been seen and analyzed to that point.
|garyd2831||I found this webpage with an airborne photo claiming to be moments before the accident.|
|Robert Pearlman||That is the launch of STS-52 (space shuttle Columbia) in October 1992.|
|garyd2831||Thanks Robert. Good find.|
I actually have some ground photos that were given to me that were taken from two different view points of the launch and accident.
|jr-transport||How about this?|
I saw this thread and immediately thought of When We left Earth. Great DVD set. I quickly pulled this from my DVDs.
Shows the explosion from a couple of angles. I tried posting another bit, but YouTube keeps telling me it's a duplicate.
|Robert Pearlman||Despite the video being labeled "from the air," the footage appears to be from ground-based, long-range tracking cameras.|
|jr-transport||My bad, I thought the angle was indicative of it being airborne. I was wondering why nobody had posted that footage. I'll change the title of the clip.|
|garyd2831||Other than the couple of newly discovered video tapes of the STS-51L launch, this one that is on YouTube provides a very unique view of the launch and one I never see on TV.|
|Lunar_module_5||There is footage from other pre-Challenger launches taken from helicopters - |
And I would be surprised that if John Young was in a T-38 that he didn't at least have a hand held camera onboard - to be used by a backseater. I take it chase were up in case of a RTLS?
On another but related subject - Why are there so few launch photos from the pad cameras available?