Tragic Hero: The Challenger Space Shuttle Tragedy

Great Essays
The Challenger Space Shuttle tragedy is one of the most widely studied cases of design negligence in history. Its explosion on January 28th, 1986 was the result of a design flaw in the solid rocket boosters. Problems with the design were detected a long time prior to the launch date, however due to a constraint in time, and pressure from NASA management to maintain its frequent launch schedule, the design was not changed. After the launch failure, investigations into the cause of the explosion were conducted by NASA contractors and the U.S. Government.
The explosion of the space shuttle Challenger was not only a result of negligence on behalf of the NASA management team, but also on behalf of the engineers themselves.
In 1974, Aerospace manufacturer Morton Thiokol won the bid for
…show more content…
Despite President Reagan’s order for NASA to follow the Roger Commission's
Recommendation, 17 years later, the Columbia disaster would prove NASA had not changed its culture. During its launch, foam insulation broke off, hitting and damaging the shuttle. During
Columbia's reentry, the shuttle broke apart due to hot gas penetrating the spot where the shuttle was damaged. The shuttle program was again suspended for 2 years for a safety investigation.
Launch footage clearly showed a piece of foam breaking off of the shuttle and hitting the wing, and engineers expressed concern that the damage could be serious. However, despite the recommendation of the engineers, NASA managers did not investigate the issue on the belief that nothing could be done to fix the problem. However, many investigators pointed out that the crew could have repaired the damage while docking at the International Space Station. NASA
Managers reasoned that it would be better take the risk of a breakup on return than leave the
Astronauts stranded on the International Space Station if repairs could not be completed. “Go
Fever” was still alive in NASA and its

Related Documents