I can't for the life of me find any info or recall this. My orginal recollection is that none were recovered, since it was an Ocean incident, but I do remember there being much speculation that some astronauts may have survived, and even drown as a result of the explosion, due to the strength of the cockpit. I was just somewhat stunned that remains were found in the Columbia disaster, given the 38 mile drop and the heat of burning up.
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I believe it was released later that with the Challenger that the shuttle's cockpit was blown free, since it was designed to protect the astronauts in case of a crash. It wasn't known whether they were killed in the explosion or not, but it was a given that the impact of the cockpit hitting the water would have killed them instantly.
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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Yeah, they found the bodies, and there were several disgraceful aspects that emerged. One was they found they had survived for a few minutes after the explosion [actually a rapidly moving fire] and died struggling to get oxygen masks on or something. This led to questions about why they scrapped early on, a method of ejecting or getting out in case of a catastrophe. Finally, when the bodies were recovered, they were hauled around uncermonously in the back of a pickup truck
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