Columbia Accident Investigation Board Audience and Use
Making sure that a technical document meets the needs of its intended audience is crucial to successfully facilitate the communication of concepts and ideas. In order to meet these needs, they must be clearly identified and specifically addressed. In the article “COLUMBIA ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION BOARD”, the audience’s identity, needs, personality, and expectations are all clearly defined and addressed. The first part of the article sets up and identifies both the audience and their needs. The primary and secondary audiences are both defined in the following statement about the origin of the Board: “From its inception, the Board has considered itself an independent and public institution, accountable to the American public, the White House, Congress, the astronaut corps and their families, and NASA”. In declaring to whom they are accountable, the primary audience is clearly defined. The relationship that exists between the audiences can also be inferred from this statement. All of the people that were mentioned were affected in one way or another by the accident on February 1st. The needs of these people defined the reason for creating the Board, as well as the purpose of the document. This purpose is described in the document by saying, “Our aim has been to improve Shuttle safety by multiple means, not just by correcting the specific faults that cost the nation this Orbiter and this crew.” Another purpose is to investigate the causes of the accident and figure out the events that lead up to the accident. The intended use of the findings is to find ways to prevent a similar event from happening in the future. In order to do this, additional information about the protocols and procedures established by NASA was required to serve the purpose of the document. This in turn raises the question, “How does NASA work?”. This question is complicated because the technical background of the majority of the...
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