Challenger Essay

602 Words Jan 21st, 2013 3 Pages
I have never taken much interest in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and their efforts until recently, and it was because of this curiosity that I came across a very well known disaster. The United States has always taken pleasure in its space exploration program and has been very successful in their efforts of getting man to the Moon and back. But, on January 28th, 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded only seventy-three seconds after take off from Cape Canaveral. Six astronauts and a school teacher fell to their death into the Atlantic Ocean.
There were many ethical issues that were faced with this launch, but the one that I will refer to for this case study was the fact that NASA’s leadership failed
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Instead of making positive “history”, we lost some very important individuals because of the greed and stupidity of upper management and their decisions.
So why was the launch of the Challenger not postponed? When faced with ethical decisions, why do leaders take one path over the other? It seems as if this launch to them was just another “routine” launch, when in reality it was a risk. I think upper management should have postponed the launch until further investigation was completed. They had solid proof that these O-rings became brittle in Florida’s “cold” temperature, what made them think that these O-rings would sustain temperatures out of the Earth’s atmosphere? As a leader I would have recognized that there was a potential problem. This O-ring issues deserved prompt attention. Secondly, I would have gathered the relevant facts and would have required I get adequate, accurate, and current information. Third, I would have asked myself, “Does my decision sit well with me?” “ If my decision made the 5 o’clock news, how would I feel?” I always think you should pay close attention to your gut feeling. Fourth, I’d make a decision based on solid facts, not assumptions or pressures, with help from the professionals who surround me. Every single person on that conference call, should have had been 100% on board with the final decision. If only the necessary precautions were taken and a launch like this was not “rushed” the

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