Challenger, 25 years later

CNN, the only network to carry the launch of the space shuttle Challenger live on January 28, 1986, today posted uncut footage from its broadcast of the explosion with this story.

You can see that CNN commentator Tom Mintier was either too confused or too shocked to immediately convey verbally what was happening live on camera, then talks about everyone “holding their breath” in response to the “huge fireball in the sky.” NASA initially termed the event a “major malfunction” before, more than a minute later, confirming the report that the “vehicle had exploded” and “checking with the recovery forces to see what can be done at this point.”

Within a few more seconds, Mintier announced the “major catastrophe.”

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