read and watch – answer a question

Background Material

The NASA Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle incidents were reviewed in a class lecture. They were also covered in the Chapter 1 cases of the text book, and in the Module 10 Additional Reading Insight article. 

Additional background information is provided in the Ethics Challenger Disaster  document attached that gives very detailed information of the case as well as attempts to answer certain ethics questions about the case.  Section 1 of this document, “Two common errors of interpretation,” explains errors that we commit when analyzing similar cases. Pages 29-35 of the document discuss ethical issues surrounding the engineering disaster. You should read these parts of the report, at the very least. 

In addition, The Challenger Disaster document is a presentation that may be of interest and assistance.  


First: Watch the following video that relates to the Challenger case. Note: There should be a prompt that will allow you to skip about 15 minutes into the details of the investigation.

Discuss what could have been done differently in the Challenger incident from the perspectives of those involved (below).

1. NASA management
2. NASA’s contractor (Morton Thiokol) 

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