Many people watched the Challenger Space Shuttle take off on January 28, 1986 and tragically combust less than two minutes into its flight. Now, nearly 28 years since the catastrophic event, photos of the shuttle’s takeoff and unexpected explosion have emerged via Michael Hindes. While rummaging through some of his grandfather’s old boxes, following the passing of his grandmother, the West Springfield, Massachusetts resident discovered a number of images documenting the disaster.
While many looked on in horror almost three decades ago, those feelings of heartbreak are felt once again today through these images taken by a photographer who was a friend and coworker of Hindes’ grandfather, a former contractor for NASA. The moving images stir up old emotions of an event that was meant to be a bright story, especially since Christa McAuliffe was aboard as the first intended teacher in space. Now, these historical photos serve as a remembrance of the lives tragically lost.