The Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy

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On January 28, 1968 the space shuttle Challenger was deployed from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. One minute and thirteen seconds after liftoff the spaceship ignited in mid air and all seven crew members were killed. The cause of the destruction of the challenger was a certain part of rubber that relieves pressure on the side of the actual rocket booster called an O-ring. When a space shuttle as used as the Challenger is about to be used for another mission there should be an even more careful with checking everything before liftoff. The Challenger could have been avoided and there was way too much evidence that shows NASA had some kind of knowledge about the consequences.

NASA postponed the launch five times since it was planned to launch, this put pressure on everyone and they just wanted to get started already. The 4th time it was postponed was because of problems with the external access hatch, this is not even close to as big of a problem as the damage of the O-rings, yet they still took that day off to fix it but when it was moved to the 28th the conditions were even worse but the shuttle was still allowed to launch. This proves that it was a very important for them to launch and that the crew and people at HQ were pressured to do it. The reason pressure was on them is because delays coast money and jobs would be at stake also the press and news reporters did not stop hassling them for the delays. NASA employees wanted to ensure and stay on contract which they negotiated with NASA at that point in time. The contract being worth more than 1 billon dollars diffidently changed many of the workers minds in hope of keeping their company running.

Budget cuts in the 1970’s affected the way NASA thought and since the Apollo mi...

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...manager in the program. In the end it’s all down to the choice of NASA because Morton Thiokol and George Hardy were just recommendations. Both of them did not recommend launch.

NASA failed to listen to them and went ahead with the launch witch ultimately led to the death of 7 innocent people. After the accident President Ronald Reagan made the Rogers Commission which is a group made for the investigation of the Challenger accident they found out that NASA “disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching on such a cold day and had failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors.” Showing that after all the people that were not listened to were right and NASA allowed this to happen.

Cole, Michael D. Challenger: America's Space Tragedy. Berkeley Heights, NJ. Enslow Publishers (August 1995)

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