June 2014

Columns

HP Reliability: Normalization of deviance can kill

On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) broke apart just 73 seconds after launch. The seven-member crew of the shuttle lived until 3 minutes and 58 seconds after launch, w..

Bloch, H. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) broke apart just 73 seconds after launch. The seven-member crew of the shuttle lived until 3 minutes and 58 seconds after launch, which is when the crew compartment struck the Atlantic Ocean at over 200 mph. The origins of the Challenger disaster are traceable to issues ranging from deep-seated human failings by top decision-makers to poor and mishandled design decisions involving O-rings. Failure scenario An O-ring failure had been anticipated by more than one competent individual well ahead of the launch. With honesty and courage, the Thiokol engineers had issued early warnings concerning the O-ring application at extre

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