Premium Essay

Roger Boisjoly and the Challenger Disaster Case Study Memo

In: Business and Management

Submitted By KAAUWAI
Words 521
Pages 3
Re: Case Study Memorandum

Subject: Roger Boisjoly and the Challenger Disaster: Disloyal Employee or Courageous Whistle-Blower?

Facts: The focus of this case study is on Roger Boisjoly's attempt to avert the launch of the Challenger and his act of employee loyalty to set the record straight despite the negative outcome. Boisjoly was employed with Morton Thiokol Inc. as an engineer and an expert in rockets. During an examination of the Challenger (STS 61-C), Biosjoly and the Seal Erosion Task Force discovered a problem with the hot-gas blowby or ignited fuel which came from joint leaks and the O-ring convincing the team that it was not safe to launch until the problem was fixed. Boisjoly notified his boss in writing of what was found. Despite what Boisjoly informed his boss, NASA went ahead and did the launch. Predictions came true when a catastrophic explosion resulted from the failed O-ring seals and the Challenger and the crew was lost. President Reagan appointed a commission to look into the devastation and found that the interviews given by senior management of Morton Thiokol and Boisjoly and a fellow engineer contradicted eachother which lead Boisjoly to believe that senior management was trying to cover up what had happened. Boisjoly and his fellow coworker were reprimanded for telling the truth about what really happened. Eventually, Boisjoly resigned from his position due to psychological strain and a hostile working environment.

Ethical Issues: Disloyal Whistle Blowing Employee is how Biosjoly is being identified by Morton Thiokol Inc. As soon as the problem was identified, Biosjoly felt that it was his duty to report it. And being that he reported it to his boss (the agent to the company), it was the boss’ duty to ensure that the proper precautions were taken to eliminate anything catastrophic from happening.

Alternatives: With the...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Cem 310 Final Paper

...Challenger  Disaster  Research  Paper   Space  Shuttle  Challenger  was  first  called  as  STA-­099,  and  was  built  as  a  test  vehicle  for   the  space  program.  But  despite  its  Earth-­bound  beginnings,  STA-­099  was  destined  for  space.  In   1979,  NASA  awarded  a  contract  to  Rockwell,  a  space  shuttle  manufacturer  to  convert  the   STA-­099  to  a  space  orbiter  OV-­099.  After  completion  of  OV-­099,  it  arrived  at  the  at  NASA's   Kennedy  Space  Center  in  Florida  in  July  1982,  bearing  the  name  "Challenger."  Space  Shuttle   orbiter  Challenger  was  named  after  the  British  Naval  vessel  HMS  Challenger  that  sailed  the   Atlantic  and  Pacific  oceans  during  the  1870s.  Challenger  launched  on  her  maiden  voyage,   STS-­6,  on  April  4,  1983.  That  mission  saw  the  first  spacewalk  of  the  Space  Shuttle  program.   The  NASA  had  planned  for  a  six  day  flight,  and  their  mission  was  to  release  and  retrieve   one  satellite  to  study  Haley’s  comet,  and  to  launch  another  satellite  that  would  become  part  of   the  space  communications  network.    Challenger  was  originally  set  to  launch  from  Florida  on   January  22nd.    But  delays  in  STS-­61-­C  and  bad  weather  caused  it  to  reschedule  to  January   23rd,  24th,  25th,  and  27th.  On  January  28th  1986,  the  space  shuttle  was  set  to  take  off,  but  the   launch  time  was  delayed  due  to  problems  with......

Words: 5390 - Pages: 22

Free Essay

Cool

...3 Study Questions 3 The Fatal Flaw In Flight 51-L 5 Challenger's final hours 6 The history of the flawed joint 7 Certified in spite of the flaws 8 Accepted as acceptable 9 The lesser of two evils 9 The problems grow worse 9 Anatomy of a tragedy 10 Why wasn't the design fixed? 11 Why wasn't erosion seen as a danger sign? 11 Operational and then what? 12 Why no second sources? 12 How did NASA and Thiokol view the odds? 12 What role did NASA's safety office play? 13 Was NASA or Thiokol pressured to launch? 14 Why didn't they talk to each other? 14 How about NASA's past success? 15 What lessons have been learned? 15 Defining terms 16 Figures Figure 1: The Launch Decision Chain 17 Figure 2: Anatomy Of A Booster Field Joint 18 Figure 3: Joint Rotation 18 Figure 4: Titan Joints vs. Shuttle Booster Joints 19 Figure 5: Joint Putty 19 Figure 6: O-Ring Distress 20 Figure 7: Joint Distress vs. Temperature At Launch 20 Figure 8: 7/31/85 Memo, Boisjoly 21 Figure 9: 10/1/85 Memo, Ebeling 22 Figure 10: 10/1/85 Memo, Stein 24 Figure 11: 10/4/85 Activity Report, Boisjoly 25 Instructions On the first day of the workshop, we will discuss the management system failures associated with the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. Please read the attached article[?],[?] before the workshop and be prepared to discuss the study questions listed below. Study......

Words: 11483 - Pages: 46

Free Essay

Space Shuttle

...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 Cape Canaveral, Florida at 11:38 EST (16:38 UTC). Disintegration of the 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 SRB's aft attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces 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. 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. 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 byUnited States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission......

Words: 2145 - Pages: 9