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The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster risk management plan - Case Study Example

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The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster is one of the examples of project management. It is one of the major operations performed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Seven crew members were involved in this operation namely Francis R. (Dick) Scobee (Commander), Ellison S…
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The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster risk management plan
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Download file to see previous pages From the data provided, it appears that a risk management plan was in existence. Some of the management plans were applied whereas some of the plans were not applicable due to some reasons. One of the examples of a risk management plan was to design a space shuttle program that would utilize both the liquid and solid propellants. The liquid propellant system is more reliable as compared to the solid propellant system. The flow of the liquid propellant from the storage tanks to the engine can be throttled and shut down in case of emergency whereas a solid propellant cannot function in the same manner. One of the drawbacks associated with the liquid propellants was that they are comparatively expensive than the solid propellants and hence it was impossible for NASA to hire a system totally functional on liquid propellant. A combination of both was manufactured.
In 1972, NASA chose Rocker for the building of the orbiter. According to many industry leaders, the Rocker package did not include an escape system. An escape system is very effective and necessary in case of emergencies. NASA officials ignored the escape system and hence the Space Shuttle Program became the first the first U.S. aircraft which did not include an escape system for the crew.
According to Mr. Moore, (NASA's deputy administrator for space flight), weather plays an important role. According to him, the specifications on the wind velocity need to be checked in order to avoid exceeding of crosswinds. This is done so that the commanders can have a clear view of the runway and so forth. In order to avoid any accidents that may be related to weather, crosswinds limits are maintained.
These issues clearly enhance the project management factor. Some of the risk management plans were implied whereas some of them could not be reinforced.
2. Would there had been a better way to handle risk management planning at NASA assuming sixteen flights per year, twenty live flights per year or as originally planned, sixty flights per year Why is the number of flights per year critical in designing a formalized risk management plan
The planner that was originally planned comprised of sixteen flights per year. With the increase in flights, the paper work tended to increase. The requirement for paper work completion was that it was supposed to be submitted approximately one week before every flight. The increase in paper work meant that the accomplishment of goals was getting difficult. With the increase in paperwork, the formulation of a risk management plan was almost impossible because half of the time was consumed in the paperwork of the flights.
The employees of NASA were working very hard to cope up with the paperwork which was increasing with the increase in the number of flights. Increase in paperwork meant that the personnel had to work overtime which included the weekends.
According to an interoffice memo that was sent from Scot Stein to Bob Lund the paperwork was making it difficult for them to handle the problems and formulating a risk management plan because half the time was taken up by the paperwork. He said that it was necessary to make ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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