ethical-sample-high - Ethical Case Study on the Space...

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Ethical Case Study on the Space Shuttle Challenger Incident The space shuttle program was launched in the 1970s to provide the United States with the ability to launch humans into space without the hassle of rebuilding a new spacecraft for every new mission. The program was considered an important milestone in aviation and human technology since the space shuttle was the first spacecraft that was capable of controlled flight in atmosphere as well as in orbit. However, the management of the program was marred by the incompetence and arrogance of NASA and its product suppliers which eventually culminated in the lost of the Space Shuttle Challenger along with all of its crew members. Further investigation of the disaster showed that the engineers failed in their duty to design a robust system as well as thoroughly test their system before clearing the product for operation, giving the management the opportunity to ignore the issue and pave the way for the disaster. In retrospect, the disaster could have been averted if the engineers have designed a safe system and subject it to a comprehensive test regime even under the possibility of incurring significant financial losses. The space shuttle launch configuration consists of two solid rocket boosters, one external liquid propellant tank for the space shuttle main engines and the orbiter vehicle. The solid rocket boosters and the main engines operate during the initial stage of launch until the burn out of the solid rocket boosters. The boosters are then jettisoned into the ocean to be recovered and refueled for future launches (NASA, 2005). The shuttle continues its ascent until the burn out of the remaining fuel in the external tank. The external tank is then jettisoned and left to disintegrate in the atmosphere, leaving the orbiter vehicle and solid rocket booster as the remaining reusable components from the initial configuration. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986 is widely attributed to the failure of one of the solid rocket boosters (Fleddermann, 2008). The post-mortem from the
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accident found out the primary source of failure of the solid rocket booster to be the erosion of an O-ring that was supposed to prevent leaks from the solid rocket booster after ignition, causing hot gases from the booster to escape into air and subsequently penetrate the external propellant tank (Rogers Commission, 1986). The breach of the external tank was followed by a series of rapid structural failure that increased the reaction between the liquid fuel and the fumes from the solid rocket boosters. The sudden uncontrolled ignition of the fuel in the external tank caused an almost explosive burn that put the space shuttle under severe aerodynamic load which eventually disintegrated the space shuttle as it was exiting the fireball, killing all seven of its crews in the process. Further investigation found out the failure of the solid rocket booster was an
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ethical-sample-high - Ethical Case Study on the Space...

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