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Space Shuttle Safety335

In: Historical Events

Submitted By russmcc
Words 344
Pages 2
The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster was the largest tragedy that had ever occurred in space travel history. The disaster occurred on January 28, 1986. Seventy-two seconds in flight, the shuttle blew up and bursted into pieces. All seven crewmembers on board died either at explosion or water impact. Most people in their teens and older when this tragedy occur, still remember when and where they were…for me it was 8th grade math class and we had it on television. It was a huge deal because the first female school teacher was onboard. The commission found that the Challenger accident was caused by a failure in the O-rings sealing on the right booster rocket housing. This caused hot gases from the pressurization to blow out, or snap the O-ring. (Wikepedia, n.d.)
With the O-ring failure, this caused structural failure. On the day of the launch, it was delayed over six hours due to cold weather. This was addressed prior to launch, but it seemed that everyone ignored this vital piece of intelligence. Cold temperatures affect O-rings in every bit of aviation. In the P-3 if the weather is below freezing, a hot start shall be used so O-ring seals won’t split in the propeller which would cause hydraulic fluid leaks in the prop.
The key factor besides the O-ring was the supervision and safety councils who oversaw this launch. The night prior to the launch, a meeting was held to discuss scenerios to delay the launch the following day. No one was in attendance from any safety councils and the O-ring theory was not mentioned again, until it was too late.
The findings on the commission added an extra O-ring to each side of the motor and the interior insulation and sealant was updated to new materials for better temperature resistance. This mishap happened due to lack of supervision, communication, and the urge to hurry up and go!

Wikepedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from Rogers Commission Report:

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