While the 1986 explosion of the Challenger space shuttle happened more than a quarter of a century ago that hasn’t stopped new footage from surfacing. In 1986 Jeffrey Ault, a NASA enthusiast filmed the shuttles disastrous launch from the Kennedy Space Center viewing site just 10 miles from the point of launch.
While two other home videos exist (on Betamax and VHS), Ault’s video is the most in-depth, closeup of the incident.
Speaking to the HuffingtonPost Jeffrey noted:
“The excitement leading up to the launch was something I had never felt before. It was just great.”
That excitement turned to horror when at 73 seconds after launch the Challenger exploded killing all seven astronauts on board.
19-years-old at the time Ault was visiting from southern California with his parents Bernice and Robert when he shot the entire disaster on a Chinon Super 8 film camera.
The video (shown below) begins with the countdown launch followed by lift off, cheers and applause could then be heard as the camera follows the rocket into the sky. After the explosion viewers continue to comment on how “beautiful” the launch is, not realizing that the shuttle had just exploded. 39 seconds later mission control announces:
“Flight control is here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction.”
Here’s the video from the challenger explosion as shown through the camera work of the 19-year-old:
Are you surprised to learn that this home video of the NASA Challenger explosion remained in a private collection for nearly 26 years?