All seven crew members aboard The Challenger perished. While the physical cause of the Challenger is now known as the failure of mechanics, the Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident revealed that the primary cause of the disaster was “flaws in the decision making process” (Hughes, 66). After finding that the O-rings were the mechanical causes of the disaster, the Commission examined all the available data, did multiple tests and experiments by “NASA, civilian contractors, and various government agencies” (Lewis). While it was discovered that there was a gas leak in the right Solid Rocket Motor aft field joint, it was determined that no sabotage had occurred. 24 hours prior to the actual launch, there were concerns of the very cold temperatures and the accumulation of ice on the launch pad (Esser,Lindoerfer 170).
There is evidence that NASA was aware of issues that could have potentially complicated the scheduled liftoff, but NASA fatally decided to proceed with the mission. Because of NASA’s negligence and the loss of 7 lives, the Challenger mission of January 1986 was one of the greatest failures of NASA. The Challenger experienced multiple delays before finally launching on January 28th. During the week of January 26th, the rescheduled liftoff after 5 delays, temperature projections were unusually low ranging from 26 degrees to 29 degrees in Florida where the shuttle launching was to take place (Robison et al 62). This created concern for NASA and Morton Thiokol, the company where the rocket boosters for the Challenger were made, regarding the functionality of the rocket boosters.
The public questioned the cost performance of exploring space. Of course, the taxpayers don’t want to spend their money in space research. The Americans were somehow dissatisfied with their government because of the space race. It is correct that the United States had wasted huge amounts of money in space race; however, competing with the USSR is the primary focus at the time. So, even medical research and other basic researches might produce more contributions to the society, winning the space race would help the US to win the Cold War.
It took a monumental effort by the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) and billions of dollars to reach this point. The Apollo Missions’ accidents, successes, and space leadership have drastically changed America’s space program. On the 25th of May, President Kennedy shocked the nation with his historical speech to put an American on the moon before the decade was out. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard!” Kennedy announced. In the rest of his speech he challenged the Nation’s smartest minds to build a rocket capable of lifting a man to the Moon and returning him safely to the earth.
The pressure of budget and schedule increase the chance of neglecting the potential risks which was abnormal performance of different components, becoming a factor in causing the disaster. Conclusion Technical issue, management issue, and pressure are the main causes of Columbia disaster. Inadequate understanding of foam and faulty design cause the foam shedding. Also, the inadequate risk assessment and flaw in organization culture in NASA lead to the acceptance of foam shedding and impact the engineers’ final decision. Furthermore, engineers were under budget and schedule pressure to launch the orbiter, ignoring the potential
Columbia and its crew of seven astronauts were doomed from launch due to a combination of the damage it sustained and the unwillingness of program managers to allow anyone to investigate it further during the mission. The Columbia disaster should spur NASA to reevaluate their policies in order to pay closer attention to matters of safety in their space programs. Throughout the mission, everything had gone well. Around eight minutes before the shuttle broke up, all seemed normal. The shuttle had successfully completed its de-orbit burn and was halfway around the world doing s-turns to minimize heat buildup and slow the rate it was descending, still travelling over 18,000 mph.
They can be punished for bringing “bad news”. This type of relationship makes it impossible for two-way communication between engineers and managers, which are crucial for decision-making in complex env... ... middle of paper ... ... Integration, accepted risk of foam problem based on previous observations. She preferred one-way communication and did not pay attention to the specialist (Rocha) opinion for requests for additional imagery. Culture at NASA was converted over time to a culture that combines bureaucratic, cost efficiency and schedule efficiency of the flights.
Renowned physicist Richard Feynman, who was a member of the Rogers Commission, concluded that “Engineers and managers are not communicating effectively”. (Challenger) Indeed, this occurred throughout the year that Boisjoly spent trying to warn management about the O-rings, and occurred again during the conference call where very likely engineers were not vocal enough in their reservations concerning the defective O-ring design. Although the documentary seems to portray Boisjoly as a lone crusader who is ignored by everyone around him, Jud Luvgood, the head engineer of NASA’s rocket propulsion program, had a different perspective on the incident. He says: “When you’re in a meeting like that, and the question is posed if anybody disagrees with the decision to launch and nobody disagrees, then that means that everybody agrees.” He adds, “I don’t care what they say today, and what they’ve been saying the last 20 years, they agreed to launch”. (Challenger) Indeed, there was likely a failure to communicate between NASA and Morton-Thiakol that led to the disaster.
Even if they were to land on softer rock it still wouldn’t form a crater considering “the amount of thrust being produced by the engines at the point of landing and takeoff is very low in comparison to a landing on Earth because of the relative lack of gravitational pull” (Holt). There are various reasons people have come up with to try and prove that the moon landing didn’t happen but they all have logical responses. NASA completed what President Kennedy promised six years after he was assassinated. The fact that all six moon landings happened under Nixon’s administration is how the cookie crumbled. People who believe the moon landing is a hoax is accusing NASA of pulling off something so much more complex than actually making it to the moon.