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Challenger: The Real Story of an Avoidable Disaster

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 Astronomy   |   Chemistry   |   Science
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Description

On January 28, 1986, the Challenger Space Shuttle broke apart just 73 seconds into its flight. All seven crew members aboard were killed and space travel was changed forever. In this episode of #Untold, a new #YouTubeLearning series from ACS, PBS, and YouTube, we explain the science behind this tragic, avoidable accident, and what scientists, engineers, and ethicists have learned from it over the last few decades.

For those of you interested in more detail--heres something else to consider: For a rocket to make it into orbit, its propulsion system needs to be shooting out propellant as it goes, which means its mass will decrease throughout the flight. That steady decrease is important when calculating a rockets potential energy. So, if you really want to be accurate, youll need to set up an integral.

Eagle-eyed viewers might notice that we used two different units for the acceleration due to gravity: N/kg and m/s^2. A Newton (N) is a kg*m/s^2, so N/kg is the same as m/s^2. Why did we decide to use two different units in the same video? To keep you on your toes. You're welcome.

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Credits:

Executive Producers:
George Zaidan
Hilary Hudson

Producer/Editor:
Darren Weaver

Writer/Host:
Alex Dainis, PhD

Assistant Editor:
Brett Kuxhausen

Animator:
Shea Lord

Coordinating Producer:
Samantha Jones, PhD

Fact Checker:
Bob Hunt

Archive Producer:
Annalea Embree

Scientific Consultants:
Rhett Allain, PhD
Steven Son, PhD

Sources:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZNqVe7xHXzVYRf4fZebejt3dmNuXHNC0HYOt_sRhK24/edit?usp=sharing

Produced by the American Chemical Society. Join the American Chemical Society! http://bit.ly/Join_acsmembership

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