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3-DVD collection of material covering the preparation, flight, and investigation of STS-51L. Includes extensive pad camera footage along with testimony from the investigation. The most complete video compilation available on the Challenger accident.

Region 0 (worldwide) – Total Running Time Over 10 hours

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Main Program – STS-51L – Timeline based look at the Challenger accident, from the intial design issues through each SRB flight anomoly, through the January 27 SRB teleconference and the accident. Provides a comprehensive overview to set the context for the sets remaining materials. (23:49)

The 51L Accident – Nasa produced tape detailing the 51L accident history and cause, produced after the findings of the commission. (29:39)

Reagan Comments – Reagan’s comments on the morning of January 28th just after learning of the Challenger accident. (9:06)

President Reagan’s Speech – President’s speech on the afternoon of January 28th. (4:22)

Memorial Service – Johnson Space Center memorial service for the crew.

Crew Transfer – April 29, 1986, the remains of the Challenger crew depart KSC. Natural sound only.

Preflight Training – Preparing STS-51L and the Teacher In Space:

Over 2.5 hours of material documenting the preparations for the STS-51L mission, including specific mission training and general training, such as ingress/egress, emergency operations, T-38s, weightless simulation in the KC-135, tours of facilities and more. Because of the Teacher in Space flight, much of the footage in preparation of STS-51L centers around Christa McAuliffe and Barbara Morgan. (2:25:15)


As It Happened

First Press Conference – The first press conference by NASA after the accident, on the afternoon of 1/28/86 from Kennedy Space Center. (18:22)

Flight Director Press Conference – From Johnson Space Center, Houston. Conference with the launch flight director and the launch commentator. 1/29/86. (28:02)

Salvage Briefing – Coast Guard briefing on the progress of the salvage operation. KSC. (22:12)

SRB Press Conference – Briefing on the finding of the key piece of the Right Hand Solid Rocket Booster by Neil Armstrong. From Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL. (36:30)

SRB Radiography – NASA-made tape detailing parts of the SRB and showing how real-time radiography could serve to inspect SRB parts. (19:23)

Launch – Overall presentation of the launch of STS-51L. (13:12)

Flight Loop – Launch with the Flight Director’s loop as audio. (23:34)

TV Van #2 – View of the launch by a camera stationed at the Shuttle Launch Facility. Natural sound. This track contains lanquage that may be objectionable for children. (9:24)

Pad Cameras Annotated – Key evidence in the investigation, this launch photography report was created by the design and data analysis task force. (15:00)

Pad Cameras Raw – Key cameras in their original form. (25:57)


The Presidential Commission (aka the “Rogers Commission”)


Boisjoly/Thompson – Testimony of Roger Boisjoly and Arnold Thompson, Morton Thiokol engineers who opposed the launch the night before due to the forecast cold temperatures expected on launch morning. The engineers were concerned that the cold would prevent the o-rings used in the seals from seating properly and that a catastrophe could result from a faulty joint. (1:34:47)

McDonald – Testimony of Al MacDonald of Morton Thiokol, who was at KSC the night before the launch and took part in the discussion about concerns against launching. McDonald provided another viewpoint of Thiokol’s position from an observer on the telephone network rather than in Thiokol’s conference room. (1:22:43)

Lund/Kilminster/Russell – Testimony of Robert Lund, Joe Lilminster, and Brian Russell, Morton Thiokol managers who took part in the January 27 teleconference. Lund and Kilminster were two of the managers at Morton Thiokol who changed their minds after a brief caucus and certified to NASA that the solid rocket boosters would fly safely in the cold temperatures. (37:17) 

Marshall Space Flight Center

Mulloy 2/11 – Testimony of Lawrence Mulloy of the Marshall Space Flight Center on the SRB, describing function, seals, issues. This testimony is from February 11 and at this point in the commission’s investigation the January 27 teleconference is not a focus. (1:22:00)

Mulloy 2/11 Afternoon – After hearing the testimony of Richard Cook (see below) Lawrence Mulloy returned for additional questions. (16:33)

Mulloy/Hardy – On February 26th, the day after the Thiokol engineers and managers testified about the January 27th teleconference, Lawrence Mullow and George Hardy from Marshall Space Flight Center returned to testify about their roll in the decision to launch. Both were on the teleconference representing Marshall. (1:38:48)

Powers – Ben Powers, an engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, testifies about his roll in the solid rocket motor seal issue and his viewpoint on the January 27th teleconference. (21:04)

The Cook Memorandum

Cook – Testimony of Richard Cook, a NASA analyst who wrote a memo in July of 1985 after his budget work continued to place him in contact with NASA engineers who were seriously concerned about the performance of the solid rocket booster joint seals. (52:30)

January 27th Scrub – Audio only from the January 27th scrub of the launch of the 51L mission, causing the rescheduling of the flight to January 28th, with very cold temperatures on launch morning. While it is not possible to say with certainty, it is believe cold temperatures played a key roll in the Challenger accident. (17:13)

Additional information

Weight .5 lbs