This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Nasa's Incompetence: The Challenger And Columbia Shuttle Disasters

1538 words - 6 pages

On an unusually cool Florida morning in January 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 50,000 feet above ground just moments after liftoff killing seven crew members onboard (Palmer, Dunford, and Akin, 2009). A presidential commission, dubbed “the Rogers Commission” (hereafter, the Commission) after former Secretary of State William Rogers, was appointed to investigate the cause of the disaster. Although mechanical failure of an O-ring seal in one of the rocket boosters was identified as the physical cause, the investigation revealed something much more disheartening; organizational deficiencies at NASA had allowed potential safety hazards to be disregarded. The disastrous consequences of NASA’s organizational failure prompted calls for the organization to restructure its management to provide for better control and appoint a team dedicated to identifying and tracking potential 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 disaster had not endured. Factors such leaders’ perception of the change process, the type of change being implemented, organizational vision, resistance to change and other challenges all play a role in how change initiatives unfold (Palmer, Dunford, and Akin, 2009). NASA’s narrative is a testament to the complexities and challenges of not only implementing, but also sustaining organizational change.
Palmer and Dunford (2008) have derived six different images of managing organizational change based on varied assumptions about the meaning of managing change and the nature of change outcomes. An overarching distinction in the perceptions of managing change is the desire to either control or shape change outcomes. The images are further differentiated based on assumptions about the degree to which change managers influence change outcomes. Palmer, Dunford, and Akin (2009) state that these images guide change leaders in certain directions as they make sense of events unfolding around them. The caretaking image, as an ideal, maintains a controlling view of management, but also recognizes that control is acutely limited by numerous internal and external forces (Palmer and Dunford, 2008). Consequently, change unfolds independently of managers’ intentions and the objective is to “shepherd” the organization to the best of their ability (Palmer, Dunford, and Akin, 2009). In this vein, NASA took on the caretaking image in its tolerance for and eventual normalization of safety hazards. Moreover, this image can be perceived in NASA’s assumption that nothing could be done to repair the space shuttle Columbia or prevent the disaster that...

Find Another Essay On NASA's Incompetence: The Challenger and Columbia Shuttle Disasters

The Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy Essay

1307 words - 5 pages On January 28, 1968 the space shuttle Challenger was deployed from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. One minute and thirteen seconds after liftoff the spaceship ignited in mid air and all seven crew members were killed. The cause of the destruction of the challenger was a certain part of rubber that relieves pressure on the side of the actual rocket booster called an O-ring. When a space shuttle as used as the Challenger is about to be used for

Challenger and Columbia case study

1985 words - 8 pages For those of us old enough to remember, the Challenger and Discovery shuttle disasters will be forever embedded in our memories. These tragic events were a part of my childhood that unfailingly dictate my thinking and feelings toward the space program, space exploration, and failed organizational initiatives. These events serve as a reminder of the profound results failed management techniques and change processes can have on an organization

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

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

Analysis of Persuasive Symbols in Ronald Reagan's The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address

1528 words - 7 pages , pp 137-138) aids the theme or tone for the persuasion by setting a mood, or a feeling. Persuaders use God, Devil, and Charismatic Terms to persuade their audience’s co-created feelings associated with these words in despite of how they may feel about the subject at hand. Ronald Reagan’s The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address President Reagan is considered a great communicator for many reasons, notably he often uses simple sentences

Analysis of Persuasive Symbols in Ronald Reagan’s The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address

1512 words - 7 pages Larson (Persuasion: Reception and Responsibility (2010), pp 137-138) aids the theme or tone for the persuasion by setting a mood, or a feeling. Persuaders use God, Devil, and Charismatic Terms to persuade their audience’s co-created feelings associated with these words in despite of how they may feel about the subject at hand. Ronald Reagan’s The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address President Reagan is considered a great communicator

Impacts of Natural Disasters on Public Health and the Environment

1735 words - 7 pages Impacts of Natural Disasters on Public Health and the Envrionment Deborah Lomas Environmental Science IPFW March 31, 2014 Introduction The occurrences of natural disasters have been increasing over the years (Laframboise, M. N., & Loko, M. B., 2012). The impacts of natural disasters can vary widely with the type and severity of the disaster as well as with the preparedness of the affected populations. According to Laframboise, M

National Response Framework and the Disasters that Created it

1750 words - 7 pages Throughout American history there have been disasters of every sort but within recent years two main disasters, though unrelated, have caught and held American attention like no other; the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in late August of 2005. Each of these disasters initiated a local, state and federal response that enabled an undertaking of cleanup of the combined efforts of each level of government

The Natural Disasters in Australia and Their Effects

743 words - 3 pages The Natural Disasters in Australia and Their Effects Earthquakes are caused by the shifting of the Indian-Australian plate, which is being pushed north and is colliding with the Eurasian, Philippine and Pacific plates. The stress from this collision is released during earthquakes. Earthquakes can occur anywhere in Australia. Adelaide has the highest earthquake hazard of any capital city, with more earthquakes in the

District of Columbia v. Heller: The Use and Permit of Handguns

1955 words - 8 pages in place is violated the individual rights that granted and protected by the United States Constitution. They believe that the rigorous system will prevent people from defending themselves and could be a violation of their privacy. Regardless of which side is right, if we want to understand more about our current conflict, we have to look back on how this hold debate started. The District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court case in 2008

From Rome to Columbia: A Comparison of Jesse Hall and The Pantheon

1028 words - 4 pages For much of the last millennia many great architects have looked upon the Pantheon as a staple of classical architecture, as well as a model for many modern day buildings. Created by the Romans, the Pantheon would use many elements better than any other works of architecture to that time. No further than Columbia Missouri is this evident in the construction of what used to be known as the First Academic Building on the University of Missouri

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 conduct a spacewalk from the Columbia (Dunbar “STS-5” 1). At the same time, another space shuttle in NASA’s fleet, the Challenger, was being prepared for its first flight in 1983 (Lewis 190). The two satellites, TELESAT Canada’s ANIK C-3 and Satellite Business Systems’ SitS-C were successfully launched into orbit forty-five minutes after the shuttle took off (Lewis 191). The first scheduled spacewalk for NASA’s shuttle program, however, was

The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Essay

2863 words - 11 pages /genindex.htm> [3] Shannon Jones, “The Columbia shuttle tragedy: Lessons of the Challenger inquiry” [online], World Socialist Web Site, May 6, 2003 [cited March 16, 2010], available from World Wide Web: [4] Joseph P. Kerwin, “Report to Admiral Truly”, [online], Washington, DC.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, July 28, 1986 [cited March 16, 2010], available from World

The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Essay

1298 words - 5 pages gases” (Lewis). The disaster of the Challenger could have been avoided if more proper tests would have been conducted. There were previous successes even with damage to the O-rings, but they never resulted in any sort of damage to the shuttle or to the crew. This caused the illusion of overconfidence. That is the issue with humanity, mistakes happen and we must learn and grow from them; sometimes even at the expense of seven innocent crew members