Nasa Management Failure And The Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster

779 words - 3 pages

Introduction
The Columbia space shuttle disintegrated on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere in February of 2003. The astronauts on board had completed a two week mission and were returning home. The program was halted for the next couple of years while the disaster was investigated. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board reported on what if found to be the cause of the tragedy. After take-off a piece of insulation foam fell off and hit the external fuel tank and left wing. The damage to the wing's thermal protection was unknown. On re-entry the heat caused the aluminum airframe structure to melt, causing the explosion. The report listed other factors contributing to this accident including organizational problems. How NASA presented technical information in its briefings was found to be ineffective even damaging.
For a shuttle mission to succeed it depends on a team of planners, engineers and support staff. Planning and rehearsing every detail of the schedule is a must. Risk is assessed for every possible problem and backup plans created. NASA's space centers organize, monitor and control each mission with military precision. But reduction of personnel and internal pressure to launch on time caused safety issues to be neglected.
Absence of Success
A video clip and report was sent to Boeing engineers when the foam tile strike occurred during the launch. Boeing requested a satellite image of the wing, but never received it. Without pictures, they created a computer modeling tool, 'Crater', to predict how the damage would affect Columbia during re-entry. In January, the team presented its findings. Had NASA taken the view that the damaged left wing threatened re-entry, it could' have used either of two fallback plans to save the crew of Columbia. Boeing's engineers calculated some heating damage on re-entry, but they were inconclusive on whether this would lead to structural failure. They believed Columbia would survive re-entry. The mission was allowed to continue. (Disaster, 2008)
NASA had made a bad decision. The accident investigation report infers that the engineers' doubts and concerns not being effectively communicated to NASA's management. The wrong reporting tool was used to convey technical data.
Open discussion of concerns was not encouraged and this resulted in failure to properly investigate issues. Senior executives did not encourage input from the lower-ranking engineers. The engineers saw potential danger from a foam strike to the Columbia. The minutes and audiotapes of NASA's Mission Management Team reveal little discussion other than...

Find Another Essay On NASA Management Failure and the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster

Risk Analysis of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

1208 words - 5 pages Executive Summary The project that I was involved in was the Risk Analysis of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. I began this in February 2014 and my project supervisor was Dr. Seth, professor of project management, data and decision making, operations Research, operations management and supply chain management, total quality management and Six Sigma. My main objective was to make a risk analysis of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

The Space Race and NASA Essay

1125 words - 5 pages . This includes NASA (the U.S.), the Russian Federal Space Agency, CNSA (China), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), ISA (Italy), ROSA (Romania), and the Soviet Union. Now, some may argue that the United State’s space program has slowed down or even stopped having interest in space. However, there is a great deal of evidence that shows that NASA is still very much interested in space. On October 4th, 1957, history was made when the Soviet Union launched

NASA's Incompetence: The Challenger and Columbia Shuttle Disasters

1538 words - 6 pages shuttle safety hazards as well as redesigning the faulty booster joint for NASA approval. Shortly before the two year anniversary of the disaster, NASA officials declared that the Commission’s recommendations for organizational change had been successfully implemented. Unfortunately, the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia nearly three decades later and a subsequent investigation revealed that the changes made in the wake of the Challenger

NASA and Space: The Final Frontier

898 words - 4 pages . Foam created for protecting the outside of a shuttle passing through the harsh atmosphere has found use as a durable, light-weight molding material for artificial limbs. Research and development for NASA'S programs has parented a network of hundreds of communication satellites used around the world on a daily basis and monitored by NASA. Robotic arms used for repairs, maintenance, and hazardous labor in space have evolved into sophisticated

Ham, the Space Monkey and NASA

1098 words - 5 pages Matias Lamberti Ms. Armuth 10th English 6 March 2014 The Space Monkey Research Paper The Space Monkey was a good thing because it helped our space exploration and he was the first to send an animal into space. NASA should keep exploring space and do whatever it takes to do it even if that means an animal going through harsh training for preparation to the next mission. The Space Monkey started a fire because it was the first animal in space for

Development of the Space Shuttle

1288 words - 5 pages shuttle was destroyed, NASA ran tests and studied other shuttles to figure out what went wrong with Columbia. What had happened was foam insulation came off of the external tank and the shuttle could not handle the heat of entry into the atmosphere.7 The result of this accident was that NASA had to begin checking everything before take off and making sure things like the insulation would not cause any issues. Skylab was a space station whose purpose

The Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy

1307 words - 5 pages is 135 billon dollars today. They needed to make something that did not coast as much and would be able to be reused. That’s when NASA came up with the Space shuttle. A light weight, reusable vehicle that would save lots of money and time for the company. Bad Weather played a huge role in the Challengers mission and liftoff success. The forecast for the day of the launch was 31 °F (−1 °C), this was the absolute minimum temperature allowed for

The History of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

663 words - 3 pages of 1960s. Through Mercury and Gemini projects NASA developed the technology and skills it needed to complete the mission of sending an astronaut to the moon. On July 20, 1969 NASA met John Kennedy challenge, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first of 12 men to walk on the moon. After Apollo NASA focused on creating a reusable ship to provide regular access to space, this was called the space shuttle. The space shuttle was first launched

End of the Space Shuttle Program: An American Financial Voyage

1602 words - 6 pages of human spaceflight versus robotic missions. According to NASA, each space shuttle mission cost about $420 million on average, but after the recent 2003 Columbia disaster the cost skyrocket it. Human missions usually last from one to two weeks making it longer than robotic missions. Robotic mission not only can last many years in successive operations like the Voyager missions, but they can also avoid catastrophic and emotional disasters. Even

"Space Saving, Ready for Liftoff" My essay is about the contradictory issue of alloting more money for NASA and other space programs, or cutting back on their budgets

2157 words - 9 pages . Therefore, there should be limited funding for NASA's beneficial research.With the help of U.S. citizens' contributions, NASA has offered many necessary benefits. One must realize that many common privileges and services are provided by NASA. Alan Stern, an author for Aviation Week & Space Technology, stated in his article "Making NASA Relevant Again" that, "The U.S. Space Program leads the world. It has produced more firsts, delivered more

Disaster and Emergency Management

2317 words - 10 pages their family and friends who don’t have Internet access. However, personal use of the Internet has proven that everything isn’t always true that in online. Many people can falsely claim things, which can cause unnecessary panic. Reputable sources can be harder and harder to come by. So social media can be both a positive and negative thing. When it comes to a County Emergency Management program, social media can have many different positive

Similar Essays

The Challenger And Columbia Shuttle Disaster: Nasa

1637 words - 7 pages events in this case study. The case study for this assignment looks at Challenger and Columbia NASA space shuttle disasters and the commission findings on the disasters/recommendations. Now with a short review of the case study what image(s) of change are present in the case study? From the case study the changes introduced are images of managing. These changes are both management of control and shaping. As NASA recovered from the 1986 Challenger

The Columbia Space Shuttle Essay

1671 words - 7 pages of the space shuttle. The Columbia space shuttle was important to space exploration because it used new technology that changed space travel, completed missions that other spacecraft could not, and brought new people into space. NASA received a contract to build the shuttle on July 26, 1972 as a prototype named the Enterprise (Dunbar “Space Shuttle” 1). Construction began on March 25, 1975, in Rockwell International’s assembly plant in Palmdale

The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Essay

2863 words - 11 pages all, the engineer shall hold the health and safety of the public paramount. In the case of the astronauts and civilian on board Space Shuttle Challenger, NASA engineers, management, and contractors failed to do so in their unacceptable risk management practices and failure to correct the identified safety critical issue [6]. 3.2.2 Ignorance Of Engineering Advice and Blowing the Whistle In the days and years prior to the launch, several

The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Essay

1298 words - 5 pages catastrophe, that still one occurred. Not disregarding the fact that this particular mission was taking the first ever teacher into space. When asking Gerald Wilson about the Challenger disaster his first words to me were “that was the space shuttle that the teacher was on.” Not only did NASA, The United States and Morton Thiokol fail trained astronauts, but they failed an innocent teacher. One of the standard practices necessary in order to