Case Study Of The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

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On January 28, 1986, the United States experienced a national disaster that will long be remembered as a dark day for our nation’s space program and for our nation in general. On its tenth flight, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after take-off, killing all seven members on board. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean. Americans had been eagerly anticipating watching the launch on live TV because one of the shuttle’s crew members was a school teacher. She would have been the first teacher to have traveled in space, so there was a lot of media covering the event. The Space Shuttle Challenger accident was such a tragedy that one study reported about 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within one hour (and this was even before the advent of social media and the internet). The Challenger disaster has been used as a case study in many discussions of safety in engineering. After nine successful missions, what went wrong on the Challenger’s 10th mission, and what has been learned from this accident from an engineering perspective to make space travel safer in the future?…show more content…
My parents both went to a dining hall at their college to watch the launch because it was a convenient place on campus to be able to view the event on TV. It was especially exciting to have a civilian on board, a female school teacher named Christa McAuliffe. As a sign of the times, the only live national TV coverage available to the public was on CNN. Even those who were not watching television at the time of the disaster were almost certain to see the graphic pictures of the accident replayed as the television networks reported the story almost continuously for the rest of the day. It was truly a national
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