- January 28 -

Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida at...

Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida at 11:38 EST (16:38 UTC). Disintegration of the entire vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized hot gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRBs aft attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces promptly broke up the orbiter.
The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. Although the exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown, several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. However, the shuttle had no escape system and the impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface was too violent to be survivable.
The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found NASA's organizational culture and decision-making processes had been key contributing factors to the accident. NASA managers had known contractor Morton Thiokol's design of the SRBs contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the O-rings since 1977, but failed to address it properly. They also disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching posed by the low temperatures of that morning and had failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors.
What Rogers did not highlight was the fact the vehicle was never certified to operate in temperatures that low. The O-rings, as well as many other critical components, had no test data to support any expectation of a successful launch in such conditions. Bob Ebeling from Thiokol delivered a biting analysis: 'We’re only qualified to 40 degrees ...‘what business does anyone even have thinking about 18 degrees, we’re in no man’s land’'.
Many viewed the launch live because of the presence of crew member Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space Project and the (planned) first female teacher in space. Media coverage of the accident was extensive: one study reported that 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour of the accident. The Challenger disaster has been used as a case study in many discussions of engineering safety and workplace ethics.
Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Challenger_disaster

Categories:

You may also like...

Interesting events from Science category.

International Astrology Day

International Astrology Day (most often observed on either March 20 or March 21) is an annual observance/holiday celebrated by astrologers and astrology enthusiasts. It is seen by astrologers as the beginning (first day) of the astrological year. It is the first full day of the astrological sign of...

International Day for Achievers

International Day for Achievers is celebrated to pay tribute to achievers in any field for their outstanding achievements or achievement. These achievers can be Scientist, Doctor, Conservationist, Teacher, Social Worker etc. who have used their imagination and vision to ease or enhance the...

Bunsen Burner Day

Bunsen Burner Day is a holiday that commemorates the date of birth of the inventor of the Bunsen Burner. While not enjoying the status of being considered a major holiday in any country or group of countries, Bunsen Burner Day has been observed for a number of years. The holiday occurs on the same...

Asteroid Day

Asteroid Day is a global movement to protect our earth from asteroids. Asteroid Day aims to raise awareness of the threats posed by space rocks and eventually help boost the rate of near-Earth asteroid discovery by a factor of 100.
Asteroid Day is held on June 30, the anniversary of the 1908...

Internet Day

October 29th celebrates an important day in history that forever changed the way the world communicates, shops, travels, learns and stays up-to-date with current events. October 29 is Internet Day, also referred to as World Internet Day and/or International Internet Day. On this day back in 1969...

Wright Brothers Day

On Dec. 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright successfully flew the first powered flying machine in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Even though the flight lasted for only 12 seconds and 120 feet. On the fourth and final flight of the day, Wilbur traveled 852 feet, remaining airborne for 59 seconds. That morning,...

Download KeepIn Calendar

Enjoy the interesting stories even on your phone or tablet