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Remembering the Challenger Disaster
National Geographic Channel Premiers
"Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes"
January 25, 2016
(The crew of Shuttle Challenger STS-51-L)
(Barbara Morgan - left, and Christa McAuliffe - right)
(A piece of Shuttle Challenger's wreckage being lifted by crane.)
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Bluntone22
The Morton Thiokol engineers were basically told to sit down and shut up at the pre launch conference call. They were screaming that it wasn't safe, but their higher ups gave in to the pressure to get it in space and gave the go ahead.
A senior executive at Thiokol, Jerald Mason, commented that a management decision was required. The managers seemed to believe the O-rings could be eroded up to one-third of their diameter and still seal properly, regardless of the temperature. The data presented to them showed no correlation between temperature and the blowby gasses which eroded the O-rings in previous missions. According to testimony by Kilminster and Boisjoly, Mason finally turned to Bob Lund and said, "Take off your engineering hat and put on your management hat."
Joe Kilminster wrote out the new recommendation and went back online with the teleconference. The new recommendation stated that the cold was still a safety concern, but their people had found that the original data was indeed inconclusive and their "engineering assessment" was that launch was recommended, even though the engineers had no part in writing the new recommendation and refused to sign it.
originally posted by: Irishhaf
I was in middle school in Florida, was sitting outside watching it go up... when the explosion occurred ran into the cafeteria where they had it on tv to try and understand what we had just seen.