Amateur Video of 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster Discovered

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 11:41pm.

Florida man discovers 1986 video of Challenger disaster locked away in his basement for almost 25 years! ~ Video 

Never-before-seen video of the Challenger space shuttle disaster has surfaced after almost a quarter-century locked away in a Florida basement.

The chilling amateur footage was recorded by retired optometrist Jack Moss on his new home video camera on the morning of 28 January 1986.

The four-minute film captures the moment the shuttle exploded, 73 seconds after launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre, killing all seven astronauts on board and setting Nasa's manned spaceflight programme back years.

It is believed to be the only amateur film in existence of the world's worst space disaster, recorded in an era before mobile phone cameras, when even home camcorders were rare.

"I don't think Mr Moss thought it was anything significant. He put it down in his basement with other tapes he had and just forgot about it," said Marc Wessels, executive director of the Space Exploration Archive, a Kentucky-based group that collects space memorabilia for educational purposes.

"It's a unique vignette of a moment in history. We've seen the pictures from the ground at the point of explosion at Cape Canaveral, but never anything like this. It's remarkable raw footage."

The tape surfaced after Moss told Wessels last year that he had watched the launch from the front yard of his house in Winter Haven, Florida, about 80 miles from Cape Canaveral.

"I said we needed to talk about it and he just said casually, 'Yeah, I even have it on video'," said Wessels, who was also Moss's pastor before he died from cancer in December.

"He said I could have the tape when he died. It took a while to find someone with an old Betamax video player, then I had to watch four hours of gameshows and sitcoms from the 1980s, but when I found the Challenger film my reaction was that people really have to see this."

Video posted by jettercat


On a chilly January morning 24 years ago, Corydon optometrist Jack Moss raised his new video camera to the sky over central Florida and captured one of the darkest moments in American space exploration the explosion of the shuttle Challenger.

In the videotape, a stream of white smoke behind the climbing shuttle shoots into view but Moss, his wife and a neighbor noticed immediately that More..something was amiss when the channel separated into two streams.

Thats trouble of some kind, Moss can be heard saying. That didnt look right.

Moments later, someone is heard telling Moss that the Challenger had blown up.

From Louisville Courier Journal

More info:
The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available.


Richard Luscombe February 4, 2010 - source GuardianUK

Tag this page!
Submitted by SadInAmerica on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 11:41pm.