On Jan. 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger experienced a malfunction shortly after liftoff that price the lives of the seven crew members on board. Now, a chunk of the doomed spacecraft has been discovered on the ocean flooring off the coast of Florida. 

A documentary crew engaged on a tv present for the Historical past Channel found the underwater artifact whereas in search of airplane wreckage. In a statement on Thursday, NASA stated it had reviewed the footage and confirmed the part got here from Challenger. The lack of Challenger, and later Columbia in 2003, spurred NASA to enhance its security efforts.

History Channel shared a preview on Thursday of the present that may delve into the artifact’s discovery. It can air as a part of the sequence The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters, although the piece of Challenger was not discovered within the Bermuda Triangle, a area of ocean with an urban-legend-level popularity for ship and plane disappearances.

The footage exhibits divers clearing sand away from the artifact as fish swim over it. The section measured in at about 20 ft (6 meters) lengthy and is made up of a sequence of 8-inch (20 centimeter) tiles. “I feel we have to speak to NASA,” one of many divers says on the finish of the clip. The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters will air on Historical past Channel on Tuesday, Nov. 22. 

NASA did not specify which a part of the shuttle the part got here from, however the thermal tiles look like a match for the spacecraft’s stomach. The house company has collected particles from the catastrophe over time and part of the shuttle’s left wing washed up on shore in Florida in 1996.

The Challenger catastrophe is a kind of touchstone moments in collective reminiscence for individuals who have been alive on the time. The place have been you when it occurred? “This discovery offers us a chance to pause as soon as once more, to uplift the legacies of the seven pioneers we misplaced, and to mirror on how this tragedy modified us,” NASA administrator Invoice Nelson stated.

House shuttle artifacts are the property of the US authorities. NASA “presently is contemplating what extra actions it might take relating to the artifact that may correctly honor the legacy of Challenger’s fallen astronauts and the households who liked them.”

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