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  Amateur video captures Challenger tragedy

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Author Topic:   Amateur video captures Challenger tragedy
mikej
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Posts: 385
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 02-22-2012 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New Scientist: Rare amateur video captures Challenger tragedy up close
A rare amateur video of the Challenger shuttle disaster has surfaced...

Captured by registered nurse Bob Karman, the chilling raw footage was filmed from Orlando airport, just 80 kilometres from the launch site, as he was returning from a family vacation at Disney World... "After shooting the video, I had a sense that something went wrong but it wasn't until we were on the plane that the pilot confirmed the tragedy," he says.

crash
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Posts: 207
From: West Sussex, England
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 02-22-2012 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As always, very chilling from any angle. I was surprised to read that NASA collected not a single amateur video of the disaster. I suppose you could argue that if NASA's ideally positioned, high-spec, cameras didn't get every single aspect and event then no-one would have. Still a big surprise.

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1642
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 02-23-2012 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's no surprise to me that NASA did not solicit amateur videos. In 1981 the only portable cameras available used VHS or Betamovie format videotape. As NASA was using 16mm and 35mm film at the time, the film would have more than 10x the resolution of the video.

VHS-quality video from 50 miles distance contains little detail and in my mind nothing relevant to the cause of the accident.

hoorenz
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Posts: 776
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 02-23-2012 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
VHS-quality video from 50 miles distance contains little detail and in my mind nothing relevant to the cause of the accident.
I do not agree. The shape of the plume in this video (and in the Moss video that showed up earlier), does, for instance, clearly show the vertical wind shear, the worst ever encountered by a space shuttle. It could have been helpful for the investigators to see this phenomenon from different angles.

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2241
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 02-23-2012 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Believe me, they GOT what data they needed from the video and film collected on site. There were two videos I've seen that were taken on KSC property at the time and one gave a better indication of the windsheer than this did.

onesmallstep
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Posts: 580
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 02-24-2012 04:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 51L launch video shown as part of a documentary on Barbara Morgan is as dramatic as any captured that day, showing her looking up at Challenger and then reacting to the accident before running off, exchanging a quick acknowledgement with someone else going in the opposite direction.

cspg
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Posts: 4267
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-09-2012 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's another one.
The newly released video, taken by Jeffrey Ault, and licensed from Ault by the Huffington Post, offers a closer and more intimate view of the tragedy than have other video reports previously released by the news media. Ault was part of a live audience gathered to watch the Challenger take off from the Kennedy Space Center, less than 10 miles from the launch site. He shot the video on his Super 8 home video camera, and it sat for 26 years in a box in his house.
Almost as if it happened yesterday. Just awful.

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1642
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 03-09-2012 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by onesmallstep:
The 51L launch video shown as part of a documentary on Barbara Morgan is as dramatic as any captured that day...
What network for that documentary?

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2241
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 03-09-2012 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Almost as if it happened yesterday. Just awful.
Now this footage is a better document I think than the airport footage. You can see the windsheer from the side and you can also see portions of the orbiter continuing in an upward trajectory after the fireball and breakup (something what the normal NASA feeds that day didn't show as well).

The two white contrails just below the SRB plumes I am pretty sure are two of the orbiter's SSMEs. A third one becomes visible on a parallel trajectory as well. Then just below that, you can see forming contrails from other debris as it starts its fall (the crew cabin is likely in that mess).

Considering Columbia's SSMEs were also some of the last things that could be tracked after 107's breakup (in the Fort Hood Apache footage), it makes for an interesting parallel of footage from the two breakups.

Glint
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Posts: 777
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 03-09-2012 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
What network for that documentary?
Don't know if it's the one referenced, but here's a low resolution view copied from a VHS tape.

onesmallstep
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Posts: 580
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 03-09-2012 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
What network for that documentary?
The title was Barbara Morgan: No Limits and premiered in Dec. 2008 on Idaho Public TV and other PBS stations later.

It's a very well made and inspiring piece with lots of little-known info and video.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28035
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-02-2012 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Huffington Post has now another amateur video of the STS-51L ill-fated launch, as described by Discovery News.
Shown exclusively by the Huffington Post today, shuttle launch enthusiasts Hope and Steven Virostek were there to watch Challenger launch. Steven, who passed away in the 1990's, captured the scene with a video camera while Hope talks out of the frame. But excitement quickly turns to horror when Hope realizes something has gone wrong.

ilbasso
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Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 05-02-2012 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a powerful testament to the profoundest swings possible in human emotion that we were all feeling that day, even more so for them because they were there in person.

Trying to distance myself from the emotions, I have to say I've never before seen video from the ground of an SRB descending by parachute. Amazing that he captured it.

cspg
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Posts: 4267
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 05-02-2012 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
Trying to distance myself from the emotions, I have to say I've never before seen video from the ground of an SRB descending by parachute.

Yet both SRBs were destroyed by range safety officials...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28035
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-02-2012 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What the video captures is the right-hand SRB nose cap. It separated and deployed its parachute 76.4 seconds into flight.

Range safety detonated the boosters 34 seconds later.

Paul78zephyr
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Posts: 360
From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 10-30-2013 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the video where Barbara Morgan is watching the launch (camera view is behind her) where exactly was she standing as she appeared to be above ground level?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28035
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-30-2013 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Barbara Morgan was standing on the roof of a small concrete bunker, that at the time was adjacent to the viewing stands at the press site (the stands have since been removed). In recent years, the building has served as Spaceflight Now's base of operations at the Kennedy Space Center.

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