If you're of the right age, the 1986 space shuttle Challenger explosion was permanently seared into your memory, a vivid reminder that space travel is still a dangerous, potentially fatal pursuit. Nothing brings that into sharp relief like this newly discovered amateur video, which captures the disaster in raw, 8mm horror.
Jeffrey Ault was invited by NASA to watch the Challenger's launch on Jan. 28, 1986, and, as any 19-year-old space enthusiast would do, he brought his 8mm camera along to record the event. And what makes the following video so essential is the soundtrack: the sounds, not of the massive engines thrusting the Challenger aloft, but of the people watching in the stands. The elation that gives way to confusion, the shock that turns to horror, all with the sterile voice of Mission Control chiming in.
"I was hoping to see an event that I would remember for the rest of my life," Ault wrote in an email. "I did. Just not the way I would have liked to."
(via The Huffington Post)