[LINK] Finally up to date on the Shuttle
Mon, 3 Feb 2003 08:50:11 +1100
I think it was Morton Thiokol, not General Dynamics.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stilgherrian" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Link" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 8:20 AM
Subject: Re: [LINK] Finally up to date on the Shuttle
> Just on the O-ring point...
> At 07:47 +1100 3/2/03, Jan Whitaker wrote:
> >Re the O-rings, I know a guy here who did a complete analysis of the
> >chain of events on that for future risk management preparation.
> >Actually, Ann, certain people knew 100% that the O-rings weren't
> >engineered to these conditions. The problem was that the top brass
> >ignored the engineering advice -- but I can't remember the reason
> >for ignoring it -- there was one.
> The decision to "not mention" to O-ring problem wasn't made by NASA
> but by the contracting firm that produced the solid-fuel boosters.
> (From memory it was General Dynamics, but don't quote me on that.)
> The engineers within the company were aware of and worried about the
> problem because of the low air temperature at Challenger's launch,
> and they wanted to scrub the launch on that basis.
> However the company in question had previously had reliability
> problems with the solid-fuel ballistic missiles they were also
> producing (Minuteman?), and feared that a reliability problem with
> their shuttle boosters too would screw their chances of further
> lucrative missile contracts. So management "make a management
> decision" to not pass on the engineers' concerns.
> And on this point...
> >I'm also not sure that it's a 'yank' problem, either. You gotta
> >admit that the US space program is one of the most highly engineered
> >things ever done. It just isn't perfect. Not much is. The public
> >just doesn't appreciate how high risk those flights have always been.
> Agreed thoroughly. There have been two shuttles lost since they were
> first introduced. Isn't that actually within the expected loss rate?
> Stilgherrian <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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