Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Case Study

1219 Words5 Pages
The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
The purpose of this entry is to discuss and explain the human factors were involved with the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986. Minutes after the launch, the shuttle exploded causing the vehicle to be destroyed with all its crew members.
The GDSS that was used by NASA had a flawed database, as well as the inability for the members to vote anonymously was discouraged which if it wasn 't it could have prevented the tragedy.

Environmental Factors- Societal Impacts
The 25th mission in NASA’s STS program was the Space Shuttle Challenger 51-L, it launched on the 28th of January of 1986 and shortly after liftoff it exploded killing all the crew members
…show more content…
The human decision to make the launch was improper and reckless. The decision to launch was based on a group decision that had flawed and mismanaged information. As we might know there are other factors that contribute to create a situation that leads to failures and mistakes.

Environmental Factors - Demands on the Space Shuttle
The process of "selling" the American public and its political system the need for a reusable space transportation system began in the late 1960 's.
The Space Shuttle was introduced after the Apollo mission was a success. But unlike the last one, the Shuttle was approved for operating in space without a specific mission and goal for the mission. The Shuttle project was politically and economically not strong. It was also sold as a partnership with the ESA to improve international and social relations as it would combine people from different countries, races and sex for the crew.
The Shuttle complete or exceed NASA 's promises. Such as the political pressure to provide a reliable and reusable space vehicle with fast turn around time, but it was not feasible to construct any complete management support systems (MSS) that could satisfy all of the expectations. The Reagan Administration pushed for the Shuttle to be declared "operational" before the "developmental" stage had been
…show more content…
After spending billions of dollars to go to the moon, Congress expected the Shuttle program to be financially self-supportive. This forced NASA to operate as a pseudo commercial business. Therefore, the environment within NASA preceding the Challenger launch was one of conflict, stress, and shortcuts.
The fact that the demands were getting higher and higher on NASA for the launch, it made the probability for disaster grow exponentially. NASA officials had a false sense of security and it lead to a decay and ultimately destruction. It appears that NASA did not have a formal DSS program for the Shuttle operations, even before the Challenger launch. Decisions were made by satisfying and going through and over the procedures. NASA was operating in a phase where there was little to no control over the decision that were taken due to the intent of them to please the military and international research organizations.
Once the Shuttle was declared “operational”, the Reagan Administration made the impression that the decision making was up to political sources. When this happened, it was the point of no return for NASA and the Shuttle, between its employees there was complacency, trying to make the Shuttle make the deadline and keep the clients
Open Document