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(NPR)   Allan McDonald, the engineer who almost saved the Challenger crew, has now departed   (npr.org) divider line
    More: Sad, Kennedy Space Center, Space Shuttle, Space Shuttle Columbia, Space Shuttle Challenger, Allan McDonald, Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, launch of the Challenger, NASA contractor Morton Thiokol  
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2027 clicks; posted to STEM » on 07 Mar 2021 at 8:35 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



33 Comments     (+0 »)
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2021-03-07 4:56:24 PM  
I blame the spiders

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-03-07 5:03:11 PM  
This was very traumatizing for millions of people, especially kids. It was the first time that televisions were brought into the classroom to show something live.

I was in 5th grade.

I was traumatized forever.
 
2021-03-07 5:33:16 PM  
hey Kittypie070
 
2021-03-07 6:02:50 PM  
Saw a news segment on this a while back.  The poor guy had been tortured by guilt for years about not being able to stop the launch.
 
2021-03-07 6:12:20 PM  
One of my friends in running club was a teacher in the program who didn't get selected for the Challenger.
 
2021-03-07 6:36:00 PM  
Let this be a lesson.  Unless you are extremely lucky and can get congress to pass a law giving you back your job, you will be fired and blacklisted from your industry for whistleblowing.  And those laws to protect whistleblowers are better used for toilet paper as you will need to be a millionaire to afford the lawyers to have a chance at getting the law enforced.
 
2021-03-07 6:56:16 PM  

potierrh: Let this be a lesson.  Unless you are extremely lucky and can get congress to pass a law giving you back your job, you will be fired and blacklisted from your industry for whistleblowing.  And those laws to protect whistleblowers are better used for toilet paper as you will need to be a millionaire to afford the lawyers to have a chance at getting the law enforced.

"You don't say."


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-03-07 7:17:41 PM  

SpaceMonkey-66: Saw a news segment on this a while back.  The poor guy had been tortured by guilt for years about not being able to stop the launch.


What's scary is the Thiokol executives who overrode the decision, after realizing they wouldn't go to jail or face consequences, slept like babies for decades.
 
2021-03-07 8:42:41 PM  

SpaceMonkey-66: Saw a news segment on this a while back.  The poor guy had been tortured by guilt for years about not being able to stop the launch.


I believe you are thinking of Bob Ebeling. NPR broadcast a story about him on the 30th anniversary of the Challenger blowing up, in which he called himself "a loser."* Listeners wrote letters that helped him deal with that guilt.

*"I think that was one of the mistakes that God made," Ebeling says softly. "He shouldn't have picked me for the job. But next time I talk to him, I'm gonna ask him, 'Why me. You picked a loser.' "
 
2021-03-07 8:45:30 PM  
He is a hero that was silenced by bean counters. They should name a launch site after him.
 
2021-03-07 8:47:44 PM  
Hero tag MIA
 
2021-03-07 8:55:10 PM  
I remember a news story broadcast the day of the launch, and never again, that NASA got a call from the White House insisting the launch go ahead because it was included in the State of the Union speech and they didn't want to change it.
 
2021-03-07 9:03:39 PM  
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2021-03-07 9:21:03 PM  
I remember how the press mocked NASA for that mission's earlier scrubbed launch dates. They used headlines like "COMEDY OR ERRORS...." and sh*t like that. NASA was being made to look like a bunch of clowns in the press and with having a teacher on board after the prior year's worth of mediahype about it, Reagan was no doubt breathing down the necks of NASA's admins to get that Shuttle off the ground no matter what.
 
2021-03-07 9:21:43 PM  
Per aspera ad astra Allen McDonald


I will look for you among them
 
2021-03-07 10:02:56 PM  
Here is the Soviet counterpart of "the launch must proceed". Double grisly: those involved in the launch were forced to gaze upon his burned corpse.

Absolute farkup from start to finish. He knew he wouldn't make it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich​/​2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed​-into-earth-crying-in-rage

media.npr.orgView Full Size
 
2021-03-07 10:14:53 PM  

SpeedyBB: Here is the Soviet counterpart of "the launch must proceed". Double grisly: those involved in the launch were forced to gaze upon his burned corpse.

Absolute farkup from start to finish. He knew he wouldn't make it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/​2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed​-into-earth-crying-in-rage

[media.npr.org image 800x548]


Was that the one that was cursing the Soviet admin over the radio until...well, until he couldn't?
 
2021-03-07 10:15:32 PM  

SpeedyBB: Here is the Soviet counterpart of "the launch must proceed". Double grisly: those involved in the launch were forced to gaze upon his burned corpse.

Absolute farkup from start to finish. He knew he wouldn't make it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/​2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed​-into-earth-crying-in-rage

[media.npr.org image 800x548]


And a cursory glance at the url answers my question
 
2021-03-07 10:30:57 PM  

SpeedyBB: Here is the Soviet counterpart of "the launch must proceed". Double grisly: those involved in the launch were forced to gaze upon his burned corpse.

Absolute farkup from start to finish. He knew he wouldn't make it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/​2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed​-into-earth-crying-in-rage

[media.npr.org image 800x548]


Damn it got dusty in here all of the sudden.
 
2021-03-07 11:06:15 PM  
The times when my professional recommendations have been overruled by management where I knew I'd end up on the hook for it, I made damn sure other folks knew exactly what the real deal was.
In this case people died in a national tragedy. No wonder he felt obligated to speak up publicly. Hero.
 
2021-03-07 11:09:30 PM  
Here's part of the power point that Boeing put together that doomed Columbia in 2003:

Fark user imageView Full Size
Fark user imageView Full Size

https://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-​a​nd-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0001yB&topic_id=​1
 
2021-03-08 2:35:25 AM  
One could say he bought the farm.

/ee i ee i o
//yes, I'll leave now
 
2021-03-08 2:50:07 AM  
Roger Boisjoly was another engineer who objected and who was a whistleblower one the coverup. He died in 2012.
 
2021-03-08 4:48:38 AM  

cefm: The times when my professional recommendations have been overruled by management


... made me quit my first job. It was only web development, no actual harm caused. But fark that noise.

And where's the HERO tag at?
 
2021-03-08 4:56:09 AM  

SpeedyBB: Here is the Soviet counterpart of "the launch must proceed". Double grisly: those involved in the launch were forced to gaze upon his burned corpse.

Absolute farkup from start to finish. He knew he wouldn't make it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/​2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed​-into-earth-crying-in-rage

[media.npr.org image 800x548]


I'm thinking cauliflower, broccoli, a red-wine reduction, and a cheeky glass or two of Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Borie Pauillac.
 
2021-03-08 8:05:21 AM  

SpeedyBB: Here is the Soviet counterpart of "the launch must proceed". Double grisly: those involved in the launch were forced to gaze upon his burned corpse.

Absolute farkup from start to finish. He knew he wouldn't make it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/​2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed​-into-earth-crying-in-rage

[media.npr.org image 800x548]


When you can't tell which end is the head end and which side is the butt end, you KNOW that guy's all f*cked up.
 
2021-03-08 8:13:54 AM  

Sasquach: SpeedyBB: Here is the Soviet counterpart of "the launch must proceed". Double grisly: those involved in the launch were forced to gaze upon his burned corpse.

Absolute farkup from start to finish. He knew he wouldn't make it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/​2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed​-into-earth-crying-in-rage

[media.npr.org image 800x548]

Was that the one that was cursing the Soviet admin over the radio until...well, until he couldn't?


Yep. And despite how much of a mess the first Soyuz was, he only took the flight because if he hadn't, his friend Yuri Gagarin would have flown it as his backup even though both Cosmonauts knew it was a suicide mission. Yuri even suited up  on the morning of the launch and tried to force his way up the launch tower so his friend wouldn't have to go but was stopped by armed guards.

After the tragedy, it's said that Gagarin literally threw his drink into the face of Brezhnev at a Kremlin party and called him a murderer. Within a year, Gagarin himself was killed in a "flying accident".
 
2021-03-08 8:29:43 AM  

AAAAGGGGHHHH: I remember how the press mocked NASA for that mission's earlier scrubbed launch dates. They used headlines like "COMEDY OR ERRORS...." and sh*t like that. NASA was being made to look like a bunch of clowns in the press and with having a teacher on board after the prior year's worth of mediahype about it, Reagan was no doubt breathing down the necks of NASA's admins to get that Shuttle off the ground no matter what.


Absolutely. Nearly everyone forgot the mediahype about the delays (and the previous shuttle mission had multiple delays). One of the most egregious was a broken door handle. That was humor fodder for a while.
 
2021-03-08 8:59:33 AM  

SpeedyBB: Here is the Soviet counterpart of "the launch must proceed". Double grisly: those involved in the launch were forced to gaze upon his burned corpse.

Absolute farkup from start to finish. He knew he wouldn't make it.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/​2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed​-into-earth-crying-in-rage

[media.npr.org image 800x548]


Not so fast

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.live​s​cience.com/amp/33177-npr-story-russian​-cosmonaut-death-rife-with-errors.html​

Short version: author was just blogging
 
2021-03-08 9:35:04 AM  
i have a shot from the last Endeavour launch on my wall ... i think this is getting put on a sign beside it

"Always do the right thing for the right reason at the right time with the right people. You will have no regrets for the rest of your life." - Allan McDonald
 
2021-03-08 3:46:49 PM  

potierrh: Let this be a lesson.  Unless you are extremely lucky and can get congress to pass a law giving you back your job, you will be fired and blacklisted from your industry for whistleblowing.  And those laws to protect whistleblowers are better used for toilet paper as you will need to be a millionaire to afford the lawyers to have a chance at getting the law enforced.


I am also here to fully reiterate that laws to protect whistle blowers are worth less than toilet paper.

Once you're done in the industry, you're done in the industry.
 
2021-03-08 5:30:09 PM  

SpeedyBB: https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich​/​2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed​-into-earth-crying-in-rage



"Only a chipped heel bone survived the crash." Photographic evidence suggests otherwise.
 
2021-03-08 6:27:58 PM  

Jeff5: I remember a news story broadcast the day of the launch, and never again, that NASA got a call from the White House insisting the launch go ahead because it was included in the State of the Union speech and they didn't want to change it.


probably because the story was unsubstantiated and later investigation revealed what really happened?
 
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