Dr. Richard Sneed
2 November 2012
The Challenger STS-5IL disaster occurred on January 1986 and it took place 75 seconds after flight leading to the death of its seven crew members including the first female teacher in space Christa McAuliffe. This, as analyzed by various groups and discussed was rated a failure on the part of the managers most especially and to that effect an argument defending this decision to launch will be laid forth in the subsequent paragraphs. Primarily, preparations for the Flight Readiness Firing proceeded in a manner not dissimilar to a real countdown and it thundered up as expected and in addition to this, the evaluation of the external tanks were in line and this was a factor in validating the integrity of the Shuttle managers in launching. Also, there was an issue concerning the O-rings erosion, however, the Thiokol engineers presented their post flight presentations and technical rationale and resolution to the damage the O-ring caused in the previous flight and resolved this one to an “acceptable risk.” They added as well that the erosion and blow by were resolved at minor levels and one of the engineers recommended there was no constraint to the launch which required a re-fixing of the entire system. These were appreciable reasons in impacting the decision to launch. With the experiments carried out and previous experience 5 years back, though the O-rings served as a possible cause for the destruction of the booster and the shuttle herein, this information was not fully documented and tested. It is worth noting despite the inadequacy of this information, some preventive motives were applied. The introduction of a back-up secondary O-ring is one of those preventive motives as well as the redesignation with additional steel around the tangs. Also persistent is the idea of tolerance. It is undisputable that the rights of engineering designs is for the safety and welfare of the...