STS-51-L Recovered Debris (Burn Marks on the SRM)
(April 14, 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. Shown here is an interior view of the scorched hole in Space Shuttle Challenger's right Solid Rocket Motor. The tapered edges along the hole indicate the inside to outside path of the fire that lead to the accident. A propellant fire in the right Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) burned its way outward through the metal, breaching the liquid hydrogen tank and possibly separating the External Tank from the right SRB.
NASA Photo Collection