Ice on the Pad on the Day of STS-51-L's Launch
(January 28, 1986) On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger and her seven-member crew were lost when a ruptured O-ring in the right Solid Rocket Booster caused an explosion soon after launch. On the day of Space Shuttle Challenger's launch, icicles draped the Kennedy Space Center. The unusually cold weather, beyond the tolerances for which the rubber seals were approved, most likely caused the O-ring failure.
NASA Photo Collection