American Notes May 5, 1986

SPACE Pictures of a Tragedy

The frames of 70-mm film provide dramatic visual evidence of a possibility hinted at earlier: the crew cabin of the space shuttle Challenger, and perhaps some of the seven crew members, survived the fireball loosed by the Jan. 28 shuttle explosion, and then dropped to the ocean in a nine-mile fall lasting three to four minutes. The photos, which NASA released last week under pressure from a presidential investigation commission, were taken by a high-speed telephoto tracking camera two miles from the launching pad. They show what appears to be an intact crew cabin sailing out...

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