The incident that destroyed the now infamous Challenger space shuttle on the morning of January 28, 1986, forever changed the future of NASA's space programs; however, the true extent of the event spanned much further than anyone could have guessed. In the months following, after much of the original Challenger had been recovered and analysis of the crew's remains was completed, Dennis E. Powell of the Miami Herald’s Sunday magazine, Tropic, revealed that NASA had kept much of the story to themselves. They did this not out of respect for families but as a cruel PR move to help preserve their public opinion.
The shocking truth that NASA attempted to hide was that the crew of six astronauts and one schoolteacher aboard the Challenger that day had, in fact, survived the explosion and instead met their ends after they plummeted 12 miles into the ocean. Likely embarrassed by their own lack of foresight when it came to preparing the crew for what may have been a survivable loss of life, NASA withheld information and forced people to lie on their behalf in an effort to keep the general public - which had watched the explosion live on their televisions - in the dark.