The Challenger

An important event in the history of the US space program is the space shuttle Challenger accident on January 28, 1986. Liquid hydrogen propellant played an important role in that event. The three main engines on the shuttle are fueled by 383,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and 143,000 gallons of liquid oxygen. The Challenger shuttle was engulfed in the hydrogen fire. The hydrogen fire destroyed the remains of the external hydrogen tank and caused the shuttle to experience even more severe aerodynamic loads than the increased thrust had caused. Seven people were killed in the accident [17, 231, 232].

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