Surprisingly, one ball survived the explosion of the shuttle Challenger, which killed 7 astronauts, which was put into orbit in honor of the crew. The ball was the object of remembrance that one of the astronauts took of his daughter.
The soccer ball that was aboard Challenger shuttle that survived the space vehicle explosion was put into orbit more than thirty years after the crash that killed seven astronauts at the end of just 73 seconds of flight. Shane Kimbrough, NASA astronaut and commander of Expedition 50, shared the image of the ball in orbit in a photograph taken through a dome window of the International Space Station. This ball belonged to the daughter of Ellison Onizuka, one of the astronauts who died in the accident and who had taken the object as a souvenir. His 16-year-old daughter played football with the Falcons.
The ball went before being sent into space, signed by all members of the Clear Lake High School football team (Houston, Texas), where he studied and trained Ellison Onizyka’s daughter and where he now studies and trains the commander’s son Shane Kimbrough. “This soccer ball continued the mission that my father embarked on so many years ago. Continue to travel and explore space and inspire so many people throughout history”, Ellison’s daughter Janelle Onizuka-Gillian said in a news release.
On January 28, 1986, astronauts Dick Scobee (commander), Michael Smith (pilot), Ron McNair and Judy Resnik (mission specialists) and Gregory Jarvis (cargo specialist) and Christa McAuliffe (teacher) lost their lives When the cold eventually compromised one of Challenger’s shuttle parts causing it to explode 73 seconds after it had taken off from Cape Canaveral. Some personal items taken by the crew were recovered shortly after, when they were found to float in the water.