Engineering Ethic of the Challenger Space Suttle

Topics: Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle Challenger, Space Shuttle Columbia Pages: 2 (754 words) Published: January 22, 2013
When it comes to engineering, building, and designing something that will be used by humans, safety is the most important step in the entire process. It should be taken very seriously by all who are involved in a project, but the engineers should be the ones who double, triple or even quadruple check safety issues. Mainly the engineers because it is in their code and law of ethics and safety is the first Canon on the list, “Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.” (NSPE, 2012). There are very bad consequences that happen when someone decides not to fallow the Code of Ethics for Engineers, for example the Space shuttle Challenger disaster that happened in January of 1986. There were issues with parts and conflicts with decision making that violated the Code of Ethics and 7 people died because of it.

On January 28th 1986 NASA was launching the Space Shuttle named Challenger and mission 51L a routine mission to carry cargo and satellites for scientific research but because of poor weather and because of the failure of some O-rings to seal tight, some combustion gas leaked and the Challenger in sense blew up. Now, Morton-Thiokol was awarded the contract to build the solid rocket booster for NASA and they did a fine job with it until it was discovered in 1981 that the O-ring for the obiter was eroding over time. The engineers of Morton-Thiokol did right in telling their contractors, NASA, about the issue, “but it was "down-played" as a low risk situation” due to the desire need and pressure from the government to stay on schedule after already being canceled 6 times (Forrest, 2005). Right there is an example of violation of ethics. Section III, number 2, letter B says that plans should not be completed or signed that don’t conform with engineering standards. Putting an eroding piece of one of the most dangerous part of the rocket low risk level doesn’t sound like sound like engineering standards and it sure as heck doesn’t sound safe...
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