Essay on The Space Shuttle Challengeri Disaster

20305 Words Jul 24th, 2016 82 Pages
The Space Shuttle
Challenger Disaster

On January 28,1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifted off the launch pad at 1 1:38
A.M., beginning the flight of mission 51-L.' Approximately seventy-four seconds
into the flight, the Challenger was engulfed in an explosive burn and all comrnunication and telemetry ceased. Seven brave crewmembers lost their lives. On board
the Challenger were Francis R. (Dick) Scobee (commander), Michael John Smith
(pilot), Ellison S. Onizuka (mission specialist one), Judith Arlene Resnik (mission
specialist two), Ronald Erwin McNair (mission specialist three), S. Christa McAuliffe
(payload specialist one), and Gregory Bruce Jarvis (payload specialist two). A faulty
seal, or O-ring, on one of the two
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NASA was in a state of disarray, especially in the
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
physics at…

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