Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster was a fatal incident on January 28, 1986 in the United States space program where the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members aboard. It was the first fatal accident involving an American spacecraft in flight. The mission was the tenth flight for the orbiter Challenger and the twenty-fifth flight of the Space Shuttle Fleet. The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the Space Shuttle Program.

The cause of the disaster was a failure of the two redundant O-ring seals in a joint in the shuttle’s right solid rocket booster(SRB). The record low temperatures of the launch, ice was everywhere, had stiffened the rubber O-rings, reducing their ability to seal the joints. Shortly after liftoff the seals were breached, and hot pressurized gas from within the SRBĀ  leaked and burned through the aft attachment strut connecting it to the external propellant tank.

Test data since 1977 had revealed a potentially catastrophic flaw in the SRB’s O-rings. Neither NASA nor SRB manufacturer Morton Thikol addressed the issue. NASA managers also disregarded enginner’s warnings about the dangers of launching in cold temperatures and did not report these technical concerns to their superiors .



* Which supports and barriers were in play?

* What were the dynamics?

* Who, or what, won the Tug-of-War?

* Discuss the outcome with your friends and family.

* Use Post #4 as a reference forĀ  the dynamics and the relationships between supports and barri