A Surviving Soccer Ball

A Surviving Soccer Ball


A soccer ball survived the explosion that killed all seven astronauts of NASA's challenger shuttle in 1986. The ball was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean after the crash.


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On the fateful day of January 28th, 1986, the skies over the coast of Florida lit ablaze. The Challenger shuttle had just exploded, 73 seconds after takeoff, instantly killing all seven crew members.

In total, the Challenger explosion created 14 tons of debris scattered across the Florida coast and floating in the Atlantic ocean. While many objects survived the blast, perhaps most notable is that of a tattered soccer ball covered in messages from schoolchildren in Texas.

Ellison Onizuka was one of the astronauts on the Challenger flight, and his daughter, Janelle, had given him that soccer ball ahead of the launch for good luck. The ball itself was no more than a practice ball used by Janelle's team, but it was signed by her teammates and said: "Good Luck, Shuttle Crew," on the side in big blue letters.


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