Challenger Disaster – 1.9 – Judith Resnik (Mission Specialist)


Judith Resnik

The Official Story

(Mission Specialist, Space Shuttle Challenger)


Judith Arlene Resnik (April 5, 1949 – January 28, 1986) was an American electrical engineer, software engineer, biomedical engineer, pilot and NASA astronaut who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Resnik was the fourth woman, the second American woman, and the first Jewish woman of any nationality to fly in space, logging 145 hours in orbit.

Recognized while still a child for her intellectual brilliance, Resnik was accepted at Carnegie Mellon University after being one of only sixteen women in the history of the United States to have attained a perfect score on the SAT exam at the time. She went on to graduate with a degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon before attaining a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland. Resnik went on to work for RCA as an engineer on Navy missile and radar projects, was a senior systems engineer for Xerox Corporation and published research on special-purpose integrated circuitry. She was also a pilot and made research contributions to biomedical engineering as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

At age 28, Resnik was selected by NASA as a mission specialist. She was part of NASA Astronaut Group 8, the first group to include women. While training on the astronaut program, she developed software and operating procedures for NASA missions. Her first space flight was the STS-41-D mission in August and September 1984, the twelfth Space Shuttle flight, and the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her duties included operating the Space Shuttle’s robotic arm. Her second space flight was mission STS-51-L in January 1986 aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. She died when it broke up shortly after liftoff.

Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

On January 29, 1985, NASA announced that Resnik had been assigned to the crew of STS-51-L. The main objective of this mission was to launch TDRS-B, the second in a series of NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellites. It would also carry the Spartan (Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy), which would use two ultraviolet spectrometers to study the tail of Comet Halley. Resnik was primarily responsible for the operation of the RMS and, with fellow astronaut Ronald McNair, would deploy and later retrieve the Spartan. The flight would also carry Christa McAuliffe, a teacher-observer selected as part of NASA’s Teacher in Space Project. Resnik was part of the team of astronauts who flew to Washington, D.C., to speak to the 113 finalists, and provide them an insider’s view of a Space Shuttle mission. They were taken to the National Air and Space Museum, where they viewed The Dream is Alive with its scenes of Resnik deploying a satellite and eating and sleeping in space. She told them that it was a shame that they could not all fly in space, but privately she disagreed with NASA’s decision to send non-astronauts on the Space Shuttle. Resnik’s assignment was tied to McAuliffe’s; NASA wanted McAuliffe to fly with a veteran female astronaut.

Initially scheduled for January 24, 1986, the launch was delayed until January 28 by rain, high winds and a troublesome bolt on the Space Shuttle Challenger‘s hatch. Resnik’s father and stepmother, and her brother and his family watched the launch from the VIP area, as did her Firestone High math teacher. She also invited Tom Selleck, but he declined the invitation. She carried with her a locket for her niece, and signet ring for her nephew, and a cigarette lighter for Nahmi. Challenger lifted off from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39B at 11:38 on January 28. A minute later Challenger broke up, torn apart by aerodynamic forces after a catastrophic failure of an O-ring seal on the starboard solid rocket booster. The cabin remained intact until it hit the water at 333 kilometres per hour (207 mph), killing all on board. Her last recorded words aboard Challenger regarded scanning for “LVLH” (low-vertical/low-horizontal), reminding the cockpit crew of a switch configuration change to the attitude direction indicator.

Following the Challenger disaster, examination of the recovered vehicle cockpit revealed that the Personal Egress Air Packs were activated for pilot Michael J. Smith and two other crew members. The location of Smith’s activation switch on the back of his seat means either Resnik or Onizuka likely activated it for him. Mike Mullane wrote:

“Mike Smith’s PEAP had been turned on by Judy or El, I wondered if I would have had the presence of mind to do the same thing had I been in Challenger’s cockpit. Or would I have been locked in a catatonic paralysis of fear? There had been nothing in our training concerning the activation of a PEAP in the event of an in-flight emergency. The fact that Judy or El had done so for Mike Smith made them heroic in my mind. They had been able to block out the terrifying sights and sounds and motions of Challenger’s destruction and had reached for that switch. It was the type of thing a true astronaut would do—maintain their cool in the direst of circumstances.”

This is the only evidence that shows Onizuka and Resnik were alive after the cockpit separated from the vehicle. If the cabin had lost pressure, the air packs alone would not have sustained the crew during the two-minute descent. Resnik’s remains were recovered from the crashed vehicle cockpit by Navy divers from the USS Preserver. They were cremated and buried in Arlington National Cemetery on May 20, 1986, comingled with those of her six Challenger crewmates .

Source: Wikipedia

Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion

The Truth


A false flag is a covert operation designed to deceive; the deception creates the appearance of a particular party, group, or nation being responsible for some activity, disguising the actual source of responsibility.


(of a stimulus or mental process) below the threshold of sensation or consciousness; perceived by or affecting someone’s mind without their being aware of it.





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