Hope Virostek worked for 36 years as a school nurse and moved with her husband Steven to Florida so they could watch shuttle launches. (Source: Huffington Post)
(RNN) - Never before seen video of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion shows the moments just before and after the launch when it split apart and exploded in mid-air.
The video was obtained by Huffington Post from a niece of the couple who shot it. Hope and Steven Virostek were avid fans of the space program, and even moved to Titusville, FL, so they could watch as many launches as they could.
The couple were standing with a small crowd in the freezing cold weather on Jan. 28, 1986, watching and recording the launch.
Their anticipation is evident in the video as they counted down the seconds until launch.
About 56 seconds into the home video, you can hear Hope Virostek exclaim: "C'mon, baby. C'mon Chris ... Go, Chris, go ... Oh, beautiful."
Christa McAuliffe was the middle school social studies teacher who was selected from a nationwide search to fly with the Challenger and conduct lessons aboard the craft. Thousands of children across the country were in their classrooms watching the launch.
At about 2 minutes, 11 seconds, the crowd makes an audible grumble that becomes, "What's happened? What's happened?"
The shuttle had come apart, two divergent trails of smoke growing farther apart in the sky.
"Oh, no! Oh, no," you can hear Hope exclaim. "Something is wrong; they're coming back."
Of course, the astronauts weren't coming back. All seven of them and McAuliff perished that day while the world watched.
"Oh, no! Oh, dear God, no," Hope sobbed. "Oh, no, Steven, they're all gone ... they're gone ... they were here, and now they're gone ... There's children seeing this."
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