Kennedy Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

493 Words2 Pages
On January 28, 1986 the world witnessed a breathtaking and petrifying incident when the space shuttle Challenger burst into flames shortly after liftoff. The infamous “Challenger Disaster” took place when the Kennedy Space Center launched a space craft (STS-51-L) which exploded in mid air taking the lives of full crew of 7 members aboard. The explosion took place after 73 seconds after launch. This disaster occurred due to engineering and administrative problems. The cause of the explosion was due to improper and faulty design of the sealing system as well as the cold temperature at the launch time. One O-ring out of the two Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) was not sealed properly so the hot gases leaked through the joint and ignited the main liquid…show more content…
It is clearly evident that this disaster happened because of the difference in values, interests, and risk evaluation held by the stakeholders. (Rossow, 2012) For NASA there were a variety of reasons such as economical and political pressures as well as scheduling backlogs that inclined them to come up with a decision to proceed with the launch. In 1986, NASA had scheduled a large number of missions in order to justify their budget and also to prove the cost effectiveness of the Space Transportation System. They were prompted to make this decision because of the head to head competition they were facing with the European Space Agency. The things did not happen as expected because the shuttle mission which was to be launched before Challenger was delayed by record number of times due to unpleasant weather and other mechanical factors. It was crucial for NASA to launch the Challenger without any further ado as the launch pad could be refurbished and prepared for the next launch. They were rushing to launch the Challenger on time as it carries probe to examine Halley’s Comet and hence it will be able to collect the data way before a similar Russian probe which was to be launched.NASA also faced political pressures when President Reagan gave his state the Union Address by mentioning the shuttle and Chirsta McAuliffe (first teacher to travel in space). (Group think,
Open Document