Paul J. Weitz Karol J. Bobko Donald H. Peterson F. Story Musgrave
April 4, 1983
April 9, 1983
5 days, 2 hours
Maiden flight of Space Shuttle Challenger
This zero second cutter was recovered from one of two Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) that launched STS-6. After separating from Challenger, the SRBs fell to a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean, slowed by the deployment of pilot, drogue, and main parachutes. Each chute triggered the release of the next one, e.g. the 11.5-foot-diameter conical ribbon pilot parachute provided the force to pull the lanyard activating a zero-second cutter, which in turn cut the loop securing the drogue retention straps. This cutter was given as a Program Performance Award to Robert John Kern.