Amateur footage of Challenger explosion found
Jeffrey Ault filmed the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger with a Super 8mm movie camera; the footage was unearthed 26 years later. / Huffington Post
(CBS News) Twenty-six years after the devastating explosion of the space shuttle Challenger during launch, new amateur footage of the event has surfaced, offering a new perspective of that tragic day.
The January 28, 1986 disaster was captured by then-19-year-old Jeffrey Ault with a Super 8mm camera while visiting Florida, and has now been made available to The Huffington Post.
It had been stored in a box at Ault's home.
Ault was with his parents and a friend for the launch. "I was hoping to see an event that I would remember for the rest of my life," Ault said in an email to The Huffington Post. "I did. Just not the way I would have liked to."
At the beginning of the footage, one can hear the sound of awe and excitement from the crowd as the Challenger lifts off leaving a straight trail of smoke. However, about 73 seconds into the launch, there's an explosion and the smoke - trails from the shuttle's rocket boosters - diverges in two directions.
On the video is Steve Nesbitt's voice from the Mission Control Center: "Obviously a major malfunction." Then later he announces that the shuttle has exploded.
The Challenger shuttle explosion killed seven crew members. According to NASA, the cause was an O-ring problem in a rocket booster.
Watch Jeffrey Ault's recording of the 1986 Challenger explosion, courtesy of The Huffington Post:
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