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The Failure of the Launch in Thiokol and NASA - Term Paper Example

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In this paper, the author describes why the Space Shuttle Challenger accident occurred due to a mechanical failure. Also, the author discusses why the mechanical design did not take into consideration of factors, which may impact the performance of various components and elements of the designed vehicle…
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The Failure of the Launch in Thiokol and NASA
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Download file to see previous pages The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA)’s flight, which was using the Challenger spaceship, under the mission, STS 51-L burst into flames within the first 72 seconds after takeoff, on January 28, 1986 (Kizza 170). The flight was scheduled to occur in July 1985, but it was postponed for three times until the day this flight took off resulting into a fatal accident. This accident destroyed the established reputation of NASA, as well as the prestige attached to the space program. Globally, millions of people were shocked by the event, which unfolded.
      According to (Kizza), the loss of the Challenger emerged due to a joint failure at the lower segments, which are located at the solid rocket motor found on the right side of the Challenger (170). This joint failure was attributed to destruction of seals, which are aimed at preventing leakage of hot gases. As such, a combustion leakage of a gas, which is found at the right solid rocket motor adjacent to the joint initiated shortly or at the ignition. This resulted in the initiation of the vehicle structural breakup, as well as the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger in the STS 51-L Mission.
      Further investigations indicated that sabotage and pay-load or elements of the STS 51-L Shuttle did not contribute towards the joint failure. Moreover, the design specifications of the Shuttle were not altered. This was a conclusion was arrived at after the establishment of the investigations on non-conformance, quality control, assembly, manufacturing, and materials for the Space Shuttle were conducted. The launch activities of the Space Shuttle, including preparation and assembly were in accordance with procedures, which are established. This indicates that the launch activities were not factors of considerations as the main sources or contributors towards the occurrence of the accident. 
       In the manufacturing process of a vehicle or any machine, design is a critical step, which engineers focus on in order to ensure that the designed machine, vehicle, or equipment has the ability to attain the desired objectives. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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