management ranks. The agency had been without a permanent administrator for
almost four months. The turnover rate at the upper echelons of management was
significantly high, and there seemed to be a lack of direction from the top down.
Another reason for appointing a Presidential Commission was the visibility
of this mission. This mission had been known as the Teacher in Space mission,
and Christa McAuliffe, a Concord, New Hampshire, schoolteacher, had been selected from a list of over 10,000 applicants. The nation knew the names of all of
the crewmembers on board Challengel: The mission had been highly publicized
for months, stating that Christa McAuliffe would be teaching students from
aboard the Challenger on day four of the mission.
The Presidential Commission consisted of the following members:
William P. Rogers, chairman: Former secretary of state under
President Nixon and attorney general under President Eisenhower.
Neil A. Armstrong, vice chairman: Former astronaut and spacecraft
commander for Apollo 11.
David C. Acheson: Former senior vice president and general counsel,
Communications Satellite Corporation (1967-1974), and a partner in the
law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath.
Dr. Eugene E. Covert: Professor and head, Department of Aeronautics
and Astronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Richard P. Feynman: Physicist and professor of theoretical