These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Reuters In the past week, the 30th anniversary of the Challenger shuttle disaster has been marked with tributes for the sacrifice of the crew. In the investigation that came after the tragedy, the brilliant physicist Richard Feynman identified a culture at Nasa where risk was not understood, writes mathematician Dr John Moriarty. The Challenger was lost because one small part - an O-ring seal - failed during a launch in cold weather.
Page ix Share Cite Suggested Citation: The National Academies Press. The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self- perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.
Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress inthe Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established inunder the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers.
It is autonomous in its admin- istration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal gov- ernment. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engi- neering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages edu- cation and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers.
White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education.
Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government.
Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engi- neering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities.
The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Frank Press and Dr. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
This study was conducted under Contract No. Johnson, Study Director Robert H. The launch of Columbia in the first reusable vehicle to be launcher!
The clevelopment of the Space Shuttle ant] its operation ant! This must be considered one of the most complex technical undertakings of all time. After 24 successful Shuttle flights, the Space Shuttle Challenger accident of lanuary 28,stunner! In response to the accident President Reagan estab- lishecI the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident frequently called the Rogers Commission, after its chairman to inves- tigate the accident and make recommendations for the safe recovery of the Space Transportation System STS.
Among its recommendations, the Rogers Commission caller] upon NASA to review certain aspects of its STS risk assessment effort and to "identifyvithose items that must be improved prior to flight to ensure mission success and flight safety.
NRC to verify the adequacy of the effort anc! Beginning with the Commit- tee's first meeting on September 22,this report is the culmination of 14 months of investi- gation, stucly, and deliberation. While the Committee recognizes that it is not possible, a priori, to guarantee mission success and flight safety, we hope the Committee's conclusions and recommendations will assist NASA in taking those prudent acIditional steps which will provide a reasonable and responsible level of flight safety for the Space Shuttle.
Rogers, Chairman June 1 The risks of space flight must be accepted] by those who are asked to participate in each flight as well as by those who are responsible to the nation for achieving its goals in space.
Such risks shouIcl also be recognized by Executive Branch officials ant! Congress in their review and oversight of NASA endeavors. The Committee has been favorably impressed by the dedicated effort ant!
We appre- ciate the close collaboration the Committee had with NASA and contractor personnel, the interest they showed, and their responsiveness to the Com- mittee's suggestions.
Nevertheless, although our general impressions are favorable, we do have suggestions for improvement. It is against this background that the recommendations in this re- port should be judged. The Committee recognizes that the NSTS risk assessment and risk management activities, both existing and with the modifications proposed here, are large and complex.
This means that change should be introduced with care. A systematic ex- amination of the entire set of processes supporting risk assessment and management in order to op- timize the total ensemble may be appropriate.
Such an examination may be particularly useful in con- junction with implementation of a new program such as the Space Station. Although this report and its recommendations are directed to the NSTS Program, they are of broader applicability.
It certainly would be wise to consider the lessons learned when structuring any risk assessment and management system for other programs having attributes similar to the NSTS Program, such as the Space Station Program.The politics of risk.
By the late s and early s the space shuttle was being portrayed as a reusable airliner capable of carrying ton payloads into orbit and 5-ton payloads back to earth. The Space Shuttle explosion is a case study in engineering safety and workplace ethics.
5 steps of risk management Organizational culture and decision-making processes Taking amazing risks Safety culture and risk-management failure 10 lessons of catastrophe.
Post-Challenger Evaluation of Space Shuttle Risk Assessment and Management is the compilation of the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee on Shuttle Criticality Review and Hazard Analysis Audit. It is intended to assist NASA in taking the prudent additional steps which will provide a reasonable and responsible level of flight safety for the Space Shuttle, but has broader applications for other .
Bibliography .. 11 2 Kelley Rickard Risk Management and the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Risk Management and the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster 1. Introduction Understanding the potential exposures faced by organisations is an essential part of risk management in modern firms.
Post-Challenger Evaluation of Space Shuttle Risk Assessment and Management is the compilation of the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee on Shuttle Criticality Review and Hazard .
Challenger Space Shuttle Risk Assessment (Extra Credit) The multiple failures that led the disastrous events on the 28th of January, were inexcusable.
The reason the Challenger Space Shuttle blew up 73 seconds after launch was the result of a faulty sealing system which allowed exhaust flames from the Solid-Fuel Rocket Boosters (SRB) to.