I am wondering where the found the cabin...and what became of the bodies if they found them...What did NASA do?
I dont think they ever found enough of the body parts to make positive ID's. You have to realize the explosion was very intense, and probably incinerated the cabin and the bodies. Truely a tragedy.
The cabin (what was left of it) was recovered in the Atlantic oecan along with what was left of the astronauts. They were all buried.
They all died of course.
During that minute or so they knew that their fate was sealed but it was much later during the WARREN commission review that the true cause of thew Challenger disaster was finally revealed.
That was that NASA had a incentive fee contract with Morten-Thycol to support launches and they were pressured by NASA to vote "go" for the launch in spite of their own engineers' objections as to the ability of the SRB joint seals functioning adequately at temperatures below even the qualification limits, much less, the acceptance limits.
Under the pressure of imminent congressional hearings on shuttle launch delays, the President's State of the Union speech and the first teacher in space M-T managers buckled under NASA pressure and voted with their incentive contract pocketbook to launch.
By the way M-T is now renamed as ATK and has been to design and build NASA's Ares launch vehicle using 1970's avionics technology for the Constellation program to replace the space shuttle.
The crew compartment separated from the Shuttle orbiter and it hit the water at hundreds of miles per hour killing all seven astronauts. It was found at the bottom of the Atlantic with the remains of the people and they were identified and buried.
In pictures from the accident the crew compartment can clearly be seen exiting the fireball. NASA has been pretty tight lipped about whether or not the people were conscious before hitting the water but did report that there was evidence that one or more of the emergency oxygen canistered had been activated. You can figure from this that at least some of them were conscious of what was going on.
The failure to design the Shuttle with a launch escape system was a huge mistake.
Eric, the oxygen masks were probably deployed because those poor 'nauts knew their fate for about 6 minutes. As the undercarriage bay started to heat up and it registered on their screens. Then fire started in the bay wiring. As soon as skin puncture occurred (Through outer heat penetration because the protection had come off at launch) then the aerodynamics went, causing severe drag on one wing....this caused the shuttle to flip over and as you know the top has no ceramics and the burn-out was pretty instant. I've read the full report including the instrument readings.
the blew up with the shuttle..no remains to be found