On Saturday, Nov. 16, The Science Channel will air its first ever attempt at scripted programming: a TV movie called 'The Challenger Disaster' about the investigation that followed the infamous 1986 tragedy. Now, to ensure that the maximum amount of eyes get to view this TV special, Science Channel's sister-network Discovery Channel is going to simulcast the show, which is a very good sign that the producers are confident that they've created something worth watching.
'The Challenger Disaster' is a 90-minute program starring William Hurt and is being described by Science Channel general manager Debbie Myers as "the biggest swing" in the network's history. The project is produced in collaboration with the BBC and is based on Dr. Richard Feynman’s memoir 'What Do You Care What Other People Think?' 'The Challenger Disaster' follows Feynman (played by Hurt) and his participation in the Presidential Commission put together to investigate the Challenger explosion.
On Jan. 28, 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart and exploded a mere 73 seconds into its flight, causing the deaths of all seven crew members. Disintegration of the vehicle began when the O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster failed at lift-off. Dr. Feynman famously demonstrated on television that the material which formed the O-ring was not sufficiently pliable, submerging a piece of it in a glass of ice water, causing it to grow stiff and bend. Feynman famously noted at this time, "I believe that has some significance for our problem."
'The Challenger Disaster' was shot in South Africa and also features Bruce Greenwood as fellow commission member U.S. Air Force General Donald Kutyna.
Where were you when the Challenger disintegrated, in 1986? Do you remember watching live?