Thirty years ago -on January 28,1986- during the launch of mission STS-51-L the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart just after launch killing all seven astronauts on board. The causes, well, unreal launch expectations; lack of management communication and poor technical decision-making practices.
Superb flightdeck fisheye photo taken during training. The STS-51-L members seen here are (from left to right) Mike Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Judy Resnik and Dick Scobee -in the lower deck were Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Ron McNair. So routine seemed them the Space Shuttle operations that the astronauts wore only these ordinary flying suits and helmets. The latter, the NASA LEH (Launch-Entry Helmet), was a derivate of the US Navy HGU-20P. This dandy “Clam Shell” helmet despite its looks is of the conventional and non-pressurised kind.
Rest in Peace.