Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Descent Into Hell
March 7, 1986, some grim NASA news:
The water was murky, swirling from surface winds, keeping divers Terry Bailey and Mike McAllister from seeing more than an arm’s reach in front of them. They had been diving for days, recovering Challenger’s debris, and, now, on this dive, they had only six minutes left in their tanks.
They were about 100 feet down, moving across the seafloor, when they almost bumped into what at first appeared to be a tangle of wire and metal. Nothing that unusual, nothing they hadn’t seen on many dives before.
Then, they saw it. A spacesuit, full of air, legs floating toward the surface. There’s someone in it, Terry Bailey thought.
No, that’s not right, he admonished himself. Shuttle astronauts do not wear pressurized spacesuits during powered flight. They wear jumpsuits. They carry along two pressure suits if they should be needed for a repair spacewalk.
He turned to his partner, Mike McAllister. They just looked at each other and thought, “Jackpot.” This is what we’ve been looking for. The crew cabin.
Low on air, the two divers made a quick inspection, marked the location with a buoy and returned to their boat to report the find.
Early the next morning, the USS Preserver recovery ship put to sea. The divers began their grim task of recovering the slashed and twisted remains of Challenger’s crew cabin and the remains of its seven occupants.
Are our tremors to measure the Omnipotence?