Challenger Explosion

Photograph courtesy NASA

On January 28, 1986, about 76 seconds into its launch, fragments of space shuttle Challenger are seen tumbling against a background of fire, smoke, and vaporized propellants. The left solid rocket booster continues to fly, still thrusting. Later investigations found that faulty O-rings were to blame for the accident, in which all seven crew members died. It was the first such tragedy in shuttle history.