Painful Legacies of a Lost Mission

As NASA reels and the Soviets soar, remains of Challenger's crew are found

Like a grim ghost ship, the broken space capsule sat on the ocean floor, 18 miles east of the launching pad at Cape Canaveral. Peering through the clear blue water of the Gulf Stream, U.S. Navy divers could make out the remains of several crew members of the space shuttle Challenger. The astronauts, some still strapped into their seats, had come to rest in 100 ft. of water after the long plunge from the sky on the icy morning last January that marked a crash landing for the U.S. space program.

The discovery of the bodies was a wrenching twist for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!