New Challenger footage surfaces after 30 years. Image: JD Hancock/Flickr.
NASA officials say they will examine a video of the Challenger explosion that has recently resurfaced after being nearly 30 years ago. The amateur footage, potentially clearest of its kind to surface since the horrific disaster, could offer additional details that were previously unknown.
Jeffery Ault, who shot the footage in 1986, discovered the Super 8 film while moving storage boxes in his home last week. In an interview, Ault said he was hoping to see an event that he would remember for the rest of his life.
“I did,” he told the Huffington Post, “Just not in the way I would have liked to. Unfortunately, it became one of those long lasting memories for all the wrong reasons.”
There have been other amateur films of the Challenger explosion to have surfaced, but Ault’s Super 8 camera was less than ten miles from launch pad 39 B and captured every second of Challenger’s flight. At 73 seconds in, the film clearly shows the worst disaster in NASA’s history.
“...you knew something was wrong,” Ault said in an interview with NBC News, recalling his feelings and the crowd’s emotions at the time the film was shot.
“Everybody was just grasping for some sort of hope, that somehow the astronauts had survived, but that wasn’t the case.”