On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Seventy-three seconds into its flight, the shuttle exploded, tragically killing all seven crew members onboard. Although pieces of the space shuttle have been found over the years, nothing has been discovered since 1996. Until recently.
Divers were looking for underwater wreckage in the Bermuda Triangle when they made an incredible discovery. They stumbled upon a large piece of the space shuttle Challenger – the largest piece found of the space shuttle in over two decades.
The divers took their findings to NASA, where it was confirmed that the wreckage was part of the space shuttle disaster.
“It was quite impactful,” says Mike Ciannilli of NASA after watching the discovery video. “You start to have emotions as you realize you’re coming face to face with history.”
Ciannilli believes the piece the divers found is part of the underside of the space shuttle. The piece of the shuttle is currently still sitting on the ocean floor while NASA decides what to do with it. Ultimately, they say, all decisions will be centered around honoring the legacy of the crew.