Challenger Disaster

The Challenger Disaster refers to the accident in which the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded barely a minute after liftoff and killed all seven people on board. This incident is cited as an example of what can happen when members of an organization fail to blow the whistle on what they recognize as a potential problem.

The Space Shuttle Challenger flew nine successful missions prior to the incident in 1986. This mission was unique in that, on this flight, Challenger was scheduled to carry the first teacher to fly in space, Christa McAuliffe. The mission was also unusual in that, from the start, it was plagued by anomalies. Although liftoff was originally set for January 22, weather concerns and equipment servicing issues delayed liftoff until January 28.

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