Amateur video of Challenger explosion discovered

Another reason why you should digitize your old home movies

New Scientist has posted on its blog a new video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, which has surfaced more than 26 years after the incident that took the lives of seven astronauts.

Anyone living during that time remembers the constant news footage of the explosion, so seeing the event from a different angle is definitely intriguing.

From the New Scientist blog post:

"Captured by registered nurse Bob Karman, the chilling raw footage was filmed from Orlando airport, just 80 kilometres from the launch site, as he was returning from a family vacation at Disney World. His late wife and 3-year-old daughter Kim, who now works at New Scientist, are visible in the beginning of the clip. "After shooting the video, I had a sense that something went wrong but it wasn't until we were on the plane that the pilot confirmed the tragedy," he says.

"Karman always remembered filming the event but it was only recently, while researching historic amateur videos, that he became aware of the video's rarity. Captured in an era that precedes mobile phones, when few people owned camcorders, it's one of few video recordings of the disaster by a member of the public. In 2010, an article in The Guardian documented the discovery of a similar video, claiming that it was the only one in existence."

Another interesting item from this - the video was sitting in Karman's pile of older videotapes, and he discovered it when he began digitizing the tapes - so maybe there's a gem of a video sitting in your box of videotapes that is awaiting to be rediscovered on the Internet (and YouTube).

Read more of Keith Shaw's ITworld.TV blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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