On January 28, 1986 a retired optometrist named Jack Moss captured the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster on his Betamax camcorder. He never showed it to anyone, but told his pastor, Marc Wessels, about it shortly before he died from cancer in December. Wessels, who is also the executive director of the Space Exploration Archive, found the tape and added it to the Archive.
It is believed to be the only amateur film in existence of the world's worst space disaster, recorded in an era before mobile phone cameras, when even home camcorders were rare.
... "It took a while to find someone with an old Betamax video player, [said Wessels] then I had to watch four hours of gameshows and sitcoms from the 1980s, but when I found the Challenger film my reaction was that people really have to see this."
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects