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 another mission there should be an even more careful with checking everything before liftoff. The Challenger could have been avoided and there was way too much evidence that shows NASA had some kind of knowledge about the consequences.
NASA postponed the launch five times since it was planned to launch, this put pressure on everyone and they just wanted to get started already. The 4th time it was postponed was because of problems with the external access hatch, this is not even close to as big of a problem as the damage of the O-rings, yet they still took that day off to fix it but when it was moved to the 28th the conditions were even worse but the shuttle was still allowed to launch. This proves that it was a very important for them to launch and that the crew and people at HQ were pressured to do it. The reason pressure was on them is because delays coast money and jobs would be at stake also the press and news reporters did not stop hassling them for the delays. NASA employees wanted to ensure and stay on contract which they negotiated with NASA at that point in time. The contract being worth more than 1 billon dollars diffidently changed many of the workers minds in hope of keeping their company running.
Budget cuts in the 1970’s affected the way NASA thought and since the Apollo mission coasted 25 billion dollars which 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 safety. Morton Thiokol was the contracting company who was responsible for the making of the ships SRB’s (Solid Rocket Boosters) because of the weather they showed concern for their products. Many engineers showed their concerns for the weather and truly did not believe that it was safe to take off. Roger Boisjoly was one of those engineers, he expressed the most concerns about the ship but more specifically about the rubber O-rings. He believed that the temperature of the weather first hardened the rubber and when it got hot again the outcome was it busting from all the pressure.
The Challenger had been on nine missions before its final one. This could have played a significant role in the problems it had after launching. Since it was built...

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