Design Failure Lessons

Space Shuttle Challenger


On January 28, 1986 the space shuttle Challenger (during mission 51-L) exploded 73 seconds into its flight due to a design flaw in the seals on the booster engines. 
Related Websites:
Kennedy Space Center
Mission 51-L
Additonal Infomation
The Explosion (movie)
More Movies


Articles: 
  1. Broad, William J., "The Shuttle Inquiry: NASA Discusses Evidence; Investigators Examine Data for Possible Booster Flames," The New York Times, SECTION: Section A; Page 12, Column 1; National Desk, February 3, 1986
  2. Diamond, Stuart, "The Shuttle Inquiry: Exploring Key Wreckage; NASA's Risk Assessment Isn't Most Rigorous Method," The New York Times, SECTION: Section A; Page 25, Column 1; National Desk, February 5, 1986
  3. Boffey, Philip M., "NASA Was Worried by Cold's Effects, Commission Is Told," The New York Times, SECTION: Section A; Page 1, Column 6; National Desk, February 7, 1986
  4. Boffey, Philip M., "Panel Asks NASA for Its Reports on Booster Risks," The New York Times, SECTION: Section A; Page 1, Column 6; National Desk, February 10, 1986
  5. Boffey, Philip M., "NASA Set Aside a 'Fail-Safe' Rule for Booster Seal," The New York Times, SECTION: Section A; Page 1, Column 3; National Desk, February 13, 1986
  6. Broad, William J., "New Designs under Study for Booster Rocket Seams," The New York Times, SECTION: Section 1; Page 8, Column 3; National Desk, February 15, 1986
  7. Broad, William J., "Changes in Rocket Strained Booster's Seals, Experts Say," The New York Times, SECTION: Section A; Page 14, Column 1; National Desk, February 17, 1986
  8. Sanger, David E., "Rocket Engineer Describes Arguing against Launching," The New York Times, SECTION: Section A; Page 1, Column 6; National Desk, February 19, 1986
  9. The New York Times, "Major News; Shuttle Investigators Wonder Why Engineer's Warnings Went Unheeded," The New York Times, SECTION: Section 4; Page 1, Column 1; Week in Review Desk, February 23, 1986
  10. Wilford, John Noble, "Shuttle Crash Where Clues Have Led So Far," The New York Times, SECTION: Section C; Page 1, Column 1; Science Desk, February 25, 1986
  11. Sanger, David E., "Sifting Facts from Chaff," The New York Times, SECTION: Section 1; Page 11, Column 1; National Desk, March 8, 1986