STS-51-L Recovered Debris (O-Ring Tracks on Right SRB Joint)
(March 19, 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. Among over forty other pieces of Space Shuttle Challenger's Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB), search and recovery teams located this joint from the right hand side, which retained traces of O-ring seal tracks. Samples of the track material underwent chemical analysis that indicated that they were not composed of degraded O-ring seal material.
NASA Photo Collection