Coincidentally, these moving photos were unearthed just a couple of weeks before the tragedy’s 28th anniversary.
The photos first emerged about a week ago, when Michael Hindes (AmericanMustache) posted them on Reddit with the title, I was going through boxes of my grandparents old photographs and found some incredible pictures of a tragic shuttle launch from 1986. I scanned them and made an album.
Hindes apparently found these photos after the death of his grandmother, as he and his family were sorting out through boxes of pictures to find the ones that they were going to use for her funeral. “I just happened to get the box with the Challenger pictures at the bottom, which was kind of special for me because I am the biggest NASA fan in the family,” he said.
It may be recalled that on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff, killing all its seven crew members. Today it remains one of the worst accidents in space history. Hindes revealed that it was his grandfather’s friend and former coworker at NASA who took these photos and gave the latter the prints after. They then practically lay forgotten for more than two decades until recently.
Head on to this album by Hindes to see the rest of the photographs.