Cold weather problems

1986

On January 28, 1986, at 11:30, A.M. just one minute after lift off, the Space Shuttle Challenger and its crew were destroyed in an explosion. Not long after the accident President Ronald Reagan ordered an independent commission to investigate. It was found that in cold weather, the O-rings on the Challenger became stiffer and could not return to their normal shape. As the joint rotated, the gap between field joints increased; the O-rings could no longer provide an adequate seal.

National Archives, Records of Temporary Committees, Commissions, and Boards


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