STS-51-L Recovered Debris (SSME Close Up)
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. Search and recovery teams lifted the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) from the ocean after the accident and brought them to a storage building in Kennedy Space Center's Complex 39. Although impact with the ocean damaged some valves, the positions of others suggest that the SSME continued to operate until the orbiter breakup and thus played no part in initiating the explosion.
NASA Identifier: GPN-2004-00008