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The niece of a couple who retired to Florida primarily to attend
space shuttle launches recently came across what could be called a
national treasure — her father, Steven Virostek, captured the 1986
Challenger tragedy on home video.
The rare footage, made public this week, begins with Steven’s wife, Hope, caught up in the excitement of teacher Christa McAuliffe’s flight.
“C’mon, Chris! … Go Chris, Go! Beautiful! Oh, Beautiful, Chris! … Go, Chris, Go!”
Seventy-three seconds into the launch, however, the Challenger explodes. Then Steve Nesbitt is heard,
broadcasting from the Mission Control Center in Houston: “Flight
control is here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a
The Virosteks were devastated. “After it happened,” Tricia Hunt said,
“for weeks and months they would go to the local beach to search for
parts of the shuttle.”
The new footage joins just a handful of other amateur videos of the explosion.
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