A section of the shuttle Challenger is found at the bottom of the Atlantic
Divers filming a History Channel documentary spotted the debris.
A large section of the Space Shuttle Challenger was was found buried in the sand at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, more than 30 years after the tragedy that claimed the lives of a teacher and six others.
NASA's Kennedy Space Center confirmed the discovery on Thursday.
When you hear that, it takes you back to 1986, said Michael Ciannilli, a NASA staffer responsible for the remains of the two lost shuttles, Challenger and Columbia.
He added that this is one of the largest Challenger sections to be found since the accident.
This is one of the largest sections of Challenger to be found since the crash.
Divers involved in the filming of a TV documentary spotted the wreckage in March while searching for the wreckage of a Second World War plane. NASA recently confirmed by video that this is a portion of the shuttle that exploded shortly after liftoff on January 28, 1986.
All seven people on board were killed, including Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to fly into space.
The section measures at least 4.5 meters by 4.5 meters, but probably much more because it is covered in sand. The presence of thermal tiles suggests that it came from the belly of the ship.
The debris is still on the ocean floor, just offshore Florida coast near Cape Canaveral. They remain the property of the federal government and NASA is considering its options.
Mr. Ciannilli said the families of the seven crew members have been notified.
A documentary detailing the discovery will air Nov. 22 on the History channel. .