The Challenger Disaster : Engineering Ethics : The Challenger Disaster

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Jake Hall Professor Ripley Engineering Ethics 29 May 2017 The Challenger Disaster Unfortunately, there is always risk when it comes to space flight. This makes it difficult to determine what constitutes an “Acceptable” risk. A space agency has many worries such as their reputation with the public and the world, the success of their missions, and most importantly the lives of their staff and astronauts. Engineers are usually technically gifted but lacking in organization. This spawns a need for non-technical managers to oversee the day to day operations of projects and companies. While the engineers worry about the functionality of the project (in this case, a space shuttle), the managers worry about the cost to the company and the infamous pick 2 triangle of good, cheap, fast. This causes a disconnect between the engineers and the management where pressure from anything whether it be the public or CEO, can cause concerns to be overlooked. Ultimately the fault lies with every person who was a part of the project, except Roger Boisjoly, 3 of his colleagues, and the manager who refused to sign the ok to launch. According to a broadcast by NPR in 1986, Boisjoly’s and his colleague's concerns were escalated to top management. They explained their worries and gave their evidence to the Vice President of Morton Thiokol, Robert Lund. This was then escalated to another meeting with more engineers and managers, which resulted in the conclusion that launching could be catastrophic
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