Challenger Discovery and the Importance of Workgroups Essay

Challenger Discovery and the Importance of Workgroups Essay

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration started as a civilian space exploration program with the role of dominance over space exploration for the United States. The program was termed as NASA was created in 1958 and by 1969 the Apollo crew had walked on the moon. However due to budget constraints the program became part of the Air force. In 1970 Nixon approved the Space Transportation System (STS) the shuttle program has is first steps to becoming a dominate force within space exploration. A new fuel system was developed to help reduce cost that consisted of a mix of solid and liquid fuel system. This created a three part flight assembly consisting of the rocket booster, external fuel tank and the orbiter. This new system allowed NASA to reuse the orbiter which became known as the shuttle.
This new flight system required the teams from several organizations to work together and each area played a key role in the success or failure of the space program. Morton Thiokol was awarded the contract for building the solid rocket boosters in Utah and shipping them to Florida for assembly. The SRBs were 149 feet long and weighed two million pounds (Edmondson, 2003). The design was dependent on O-Rings to seal the joints between the components to eliminate leakage of gases during takeoff, blow-by and reduce joint rotation. NASA was tasked with developing the shuttle which would serve as the mode of transportation for the crew, experiments and items required for space delivery. This reusable model could then return earth and be resent to space by attaching the fuel systems made by Thiokol.
Morton Thiokol had problems with the design of the SRBs from the beginning. In 1977 it was discovered the joint rotation did not a...


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