The chilling Y-shaped smoke plume against a stark blue sky is still etched in many people’s minds.

Now, another piece of the fallen space shuttle Challenger has been found, NASA officials announced Thursday.

In this photo provided by the HISTORY® Channel, underwater explorer and marine biologist Mike Barnette and wreck diver Jimmy Gadomski explore a 20-foot segment of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger that the team discovered in the waters off the coast of Florida during the filming of The HISTORY® Channel’s new series, “The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters,” premiering Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (The HISTORY® Channel via AP)

Divers seeking wreckage of a World War II plane for a History Channel documentary located the debris from the Challenger craft, which exploded in midair shortly after takeoff in 1986. Viewing the divers’ video footage jolted people like NASA manager Michael Ciannilli back in time.

“Of course, the emotions come back, right?” said Ciannilli, who confirmed the find. “My heart skipped a beat, I must say, and it brought me right back to 1986 … and what we all went through as a nation.”

It was Jan. 28, 1986 when the vessel carrying schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe and six others — along with hopes and dreams for education and civilian space flight — exploded just 72 seconds after takeoff. The Concord, N.H., social studies teacher had been planning to perform experiments and teach from space.

FILE - The space shuttle Challenger hangs suspended inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, April 10, 1985, as preparations are made to mate it with the booster rockets and external tank. On Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, NASA announced that a large section of the destroyed spacecraft has been found buried in sand at the bottom of the Atlantic, more than three decades after the tragedy that killed a schoolteacher and six others. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin, File)

Pieces plummeted earthward before horrified onlookers, including thousands of schoolchildren, as they witnessed a blazing red, orange and white fireball enveloping the shuttle. The shuttle was 10 miles up and traveling at 2,000 mph.

Shuttle remnants have been found over the years, with the latest one partially buried in sand on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The visible portion is about 15 square feet, though a larger portion may still be covered with sand. It’s one of the biggest pieces of the fallen craft found since the accident, Ciannilli said, and the first since two wing fragments washed ashore in 1996.

The square thermal tiles on the fragment mark it as probably from the belly of the shuttle, Ciannilli said.

FILE - The space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after lifting off from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 28, 1986. All seven crew members died in the explosion, which was blamed on faulty o-rings in the shuttle's booster rockets. On Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, NASA announced that a large section of the destroyed spacecraft has been found buried in sand at the bottom of the Atlantic, more than three decades after the tragedy that killed a schoolteacher and six others. (AP Photo/Bruce Weaver, File)

The day of the crash, unusually cold temperatures at the Kennedy Space Center froze the shuttle’s “O-Rings,” rubber gaskets that cracked in the cold and failed to contain the hot gases inside the rocket boosters. Also killed besides McAuliffe were fellow payload specialist Greg Jarvis, Commander Dick Scobee, Pilot Michael Smith and Mission Specialists Ron McNair, Ellison Onizuka and Judy Resnik.

With News Wire Services

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