Challenger: The Science of a Space Shuttle Disaster | Time
Using pressurized nitrogen as a propellant, the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) allowed astronauts to perform un-tethered spacewalks away from the shuttle. The MMU assisted with satellite retrieval and servicing during several early shuttle flights. Use of MMUs was discontinued after the Challenger disaster.
Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster – Thoughts of an …
Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral have seen more than their share of disasters. A launch catastrophe is unmistakable—tremendous noise, a horrendous fireball, and smoking debris falling into the ocean. My mind flashed back to the frigid morning of January 28, 1986. I had been standing outside and seen Challenger lift off from pad 39B, only to disappear into a violent conflagration shortly afterward. I remember expecting—hoping—that Challenger would emerge from the fireball, fly around, and land behind me at the Shuttle Landing Facility. But we never saw Challenger again. I recalled leaving the site with a few friends as debris and smoke trails continued to rain down into the Atlantic, just off the coast. It was a terrible thing to witness.
Centaur G-Prime Upper Stage on display at the United States Space and Rocket Center. Developed from the Centaur upper stage, the G-Prime version was to be used with the American Space Shuttle. The Centaur G-Prime program was cancelled after the Challenger disaster in 1986. (Photos: Richard Kruse, 2008)