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The Challenger
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The Challenger Disaster (2013) (TV) More at IMDbPro »The Challenger (original title)

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The Challenger Disaster -- Oscar-winning star William Hurt heads a stellar cast in this gripping drama about the brilliant US physicist Richard Feynman, who helped uncover the secrets behind the Challenger disaster of 1986. Battling politics, egos, NASA secrecy and his own quiet fight with cancer, Feynman worked tirelessly to uncover the causes of the tragic event, determined that such failures should never be repeated.


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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Kate Gartside (writer)
View company contact information for The Challenger Disaster on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 2013 (USA) See more »
Factual drama exploring the truth behind the space shuttle Challenger's 1986 disintegration. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
I have NOT seen the movie but have a cautionary comment, so I presume to review the other reviews See more (20 total) »



Joanne Whalley ... Gweneth Feynman

Kevin McNally ... Mulloy

William Hurt ... Richard Feynman

Bruce Greenwood ... General Kutyna

Brian Dennehy ... Rogers

Eve Best ... Sally Ride

Liesl Ahlers ... Hotel Receptionist

Henry Goodman ... Dr. Weiss

Langley Kirkwood ... Avionics Engineer

Meganne Young ... Michelle Feynman (as Megan Young)

Sean Cameron Michael ... Judson Lovingood (as Sean C. Michael)

Nick Boraine ... SRB Engineer
Danny Keogh ... Head Of Recovery

Robert Hobbs ... Allan J Macdonald

Adam Neill ... Blade Engineer

Stevel Marc ... Taxi Driver
Andrew Stock ... Ronald Reagen
Stephen Jennings ... Neil Armstrong

Nicholas Pauling ... Bill Graham

José Domingos ... Dr. Alton Keel (as Jose Domingos)

Abdi Hussein ... NASA Security
Graham Hopkins ... Reporter
David Sherwood ... George Hardy

Clayton Boyd ... Reporter 4
Peter Terry ... Maitre d'
Rafiq Jajbhay ... Shopkeeper
Millard Arnold ... Speaker
Nadia Kretschmer ... Nurse
Dana Prophet ... Reporter #2
Megan Young ... Michelle Feynman
Chad Luckhoff ... Reporter 5 (uncredited)

Ronald Reagan ... Himself - U.S. President (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
James Hawes 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kate Gartside  writer

Produced by
Laurie Borg .... producer
Rocky Collins .... executive producer
Cassian Harrison .... executive producer
Mark Hedgecoe .... executive producer
Isabelle Helle .... co-producer
Genevieve Hofmeyr .... co-producer
Bernadette McDaid .... executive producer
Stephen McDonogh .... co-producer
Deborah Adler Myers .... executive producer
Thérèsa Ryan .... line producer
Original Music by
Chris Letcher 
Cinematography by
Lukas Strebel 
Film Editing by
Peter Christelis 
Costume Design by
Wolfgang Ender 
Makeup Department
Sulet Meintjes .... makeup dailies
Simone Stubbs .... key hair stylist
Simone Stubbs .... key makeup artist
Brandon Swanepoel .... hair stylist
Tyron Sweeney .... hair stylist
Megan Tanner .... make up & hair designer
Production Management
Beewan Athwal .... post-production supervisor
Kyle David Crosby .... production manager: DC unit
Cheryl Eatock .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Grant Nale .... first assistant director
Art Department
Merinda Geyer .... property master
Sound Department
Antony Bayman .... sound effects editor
Michael Botha .... a.d.r. mixer
Simon Diggins .... adr mixer
Sue Harding .... foley artist
Ivan Milborrow .... sound recordist
Julien Pirrie .... foley recordist
Adrian Rhodes .... sound re-recording mixer: supervising sound editor
Jamie Roden .... dialogue editor
Jamie Roden .... re-recording mixer
Ric Schnupp .... adr recordist
Mathias Schuster .... foley editor
Robert Weiss .... adr mixer
Visual Effects by
Pedro Andrade .... compositor: Jellyfish Pictures
Luke Dodd .... visual effects supervisor: Jellyfish Pictures
Dave Freeman .... digital matte painter
Martin C. Furman .... lead compositor: Jellyfish Pictures (as Martin Furman)
Victoria Hodson .... digital matte painter
Sam Howell .... cg artist: Jellyfish Pictures
Cecilia Marin .... visual effects production assistant: Jellyfish Pictures
Victor Morejon .... compositor
Konstantinos Panagiotopoulos .... compositor: Jellyfish Pictures
Carmen Perez-Marsa Roca .... visual effects producer: Jellyfish Pictures
Antonio Rodríguez Díaz .... compositor: Jellyfish Pictures
Neill Vermaak .... on-set visual effects assistant
George Webster .... set visual effects supervisor
Camera and Electrical Department
Houston Hadden .... first assistant camera
Cameron Riddles .... first assistant camera: DC unit
Michael Swan .... camera operator
Raydawn Tilley .... camera chief dit
Patrick Toselli .... still photographer
Casting Department
Molly Cowan .... casting assistant
Christa Schamberger .... casting: South Africa
Martin Ware .... casting associate
Editorial Department
Paul Ensby .... colourist
Simon Giblin .... on-line editor
Nompi Vilakazi .... assistant editor
Kieran Waller .... first assistant editor
Transportation Department
Iain McGreer .... action vehicles
Other crew
Sean Bredbenner .... production assistant
Jeff Currier .... production coordinator: Washington D.C.
Carl Feynman .... consultant
Michelle Feynman .... consultant
Aparna Jayachandran .... script supervisor
Dan Parry .... factual producer
Bridget Shaw .... set decorator: Washington, DC

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Challenger" - UK (original title)
See more »
90 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The reason Challenger's solid rocket booster didn't immediately begin extruding the flame which, at 73 seconds caused it to burn through its attachment and strike the fuel tank, was because aluminum oxide (a relatively recently added fuel-efficiency measure) present in the SRB created a 'slag' which fortuitously plugged the hole in the now burned-through O-Ring. It was only because Challenger, at 58 seconds, was struck by the strongest wind gust in the history of any launch that the 'plug' was dislodged - causing the now infamous blowtorch-like flame to spout from the SRB precipitating the shuttle's destruction. Challenger required little over a minute after the moment of its break-up to reach the point where the SRB's fuel would have been exhausted and they could have safely detached from the shuttle - thus allowing the Challenger, and its crew, to safely reach space.See more »
Miscellaneous: Each orbiter shuttle was built differently. In the beginning stock launch footage used to represent the telecast for the STS-51L launch (the loss of Challenger) particularly at the moment of main engine start is clearly that of a different vehicle. The tail does not match that of OV-099 Challenger, but rather one of the newer vehicles that used fewer black silica tiles (most likely OV-104 Atlantis).See more »
Rogers:The other commissioners are just being respectful.
Richard Feynman:And you're saying I'm not? You understand the implications of the oxygen being activated? I do. The astronauts had to do that themselves. Which means they were ALIVE for at least some of those two minutes and thirty six seconds before they slammed into the ocean. Mr Rogers I'm an atheist, I personally doubt they're touching the face of God so I prefer to show my respect by finding the CAUSE of their appalling deaths and not stand around looking sad.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Follows Challenger (1990) (TV)See more »


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
I have NOT seen the movie but have a cautionary comment, so I presume to review the other reviews, 17 May 2014
Author: Peteryoung_37 from Australia

I have NOT seen the movie but having read the book I have a cautionary comment,so I presume to review the other reviews. I am doing my damnedest to get access to the movie. Like many others, as is evident from most of the 17 preceding reviews, I have a great enthusiasm for the Feynman character and his books. I have read his book, "What Do YOU Care What Other People Think" (W.W. Norton & Company,2001) - twice, including recently. More than half of that book is devoted to Feynman's part in investigating the Challenger disaster. For that reason alone I'm mad keen to see the movie, which I only just heard about. BUT in one review a Doctor Judson A. Lovingood makes a spirited defence of what he sees as errors in the movie, including some that he believes are unfair to him. The only reason I'm writing this is because, as a retired engineer, like Dr Lovingood, and specialised in aeronautics, and particularly in Reliability, I implore readers to not let their no doubt well-founded enthusiasm for Feynman cause them to rush to judgement of Dr Lovingood. In spite of his genius (responsible for the basis of modern Quantum Theory, if I understand correctly - just ask Sheldon Cooper) Feynman was very human, and I believe at least one of the subject errors may be due to omission by Feynman from his investigations. Not to detract from the enormous credit due him for the result he and others achieved between them. The matters Lovingood complains of are very complex. I note that he is mentioned in several places through Feynman's book, as indicated in its Index. Because of this complexity, anyone wishing to judge the merit of Lovingood's complaints needs first to study them and Feynman's writings, and analyse very carefully. If you cannot spare the time and energy to do this, the only fair thing to do is to give Lovingood the benefit of the doubt, and accept his arguments as valid. Which is why I beg you, don't rush to judgement.

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