A crew of divers just got the surprise of their lives when exploring the deep ocean.
The History Channel crew was searching for the wreckage of a World War II-era aircraft when they stumbled across something else entirely.
Filming off the east coast of Florida, they discovered a chunk of NASA’s doomed Challenger space shuttle.
The discovery came nearly 40 years after the NASA Challenger space shuttle exploded 73 seconds into its flight.
NASA engineers and millions watching around the world were left stunned when the disaster happened back in 1986.
Sadly, all seven on board were killed when the spaceship disintegrated 46,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.
The astronauts who perished on that fateful day were Francis R, Scobee, Michael J. Smith Ronald E. McNair, Ellison S. Onizuka, Judith A. Resnik, Gregor B. Jarvis, and teacher S. Christa McAuliffe.
Suspecting they’d found remains of the shuttle and due to the proximity of the location from the space agency’s home, the crew immediately contacted NASA.
NASA later confirmed that the debris was in fact from the space shuttle and identified it as a segment of heat shield.
It’s the first discovery of wreckage from the 1986 disaster in more than 25 years.
Footage of the discovery, which was captured as part of a History Channel documentary about the Bermuda Triangle, has now been released on social media.
“While it has been nearly 37 years since seven daring and brave explorers lost their lives aboard Challengerm, this tragedy will forvever be seared in the collective memory of our country,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.
“For millions around the globe, myself included, Jan. 28, 1986, still feels like yesterday.
“This discovery gives us an opportunity to pause once again, to uplift the legacies of the seven pioneers we lost, and to reflect on how this tragedy changed us.
“At NASA, the core value of safety is – and must forever remain – our top priority, especially as our missions explore more of the cosmos than ever before.”