Science Matters Lecture: Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
- Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
- https://montana.webex.com/montana/onstage/g.php?MTID=e94f04314212e88dda5b55adb20016d28 password: launch
The Center for Science, Technology, Ethics, and Society hosts a Science Matters Lecture with Professor James R. Hansen, Auburn University historian. Hansen co-authored the book "Truth, Lies, and O-rings" with MSU alumnus and Challenger explosion whistleblower, the late Allan J. McDonald.
In his lecture Dr. Hansen will discuss "Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster," a powerful and award-winning book that he co-authored with Montana State University engineering graduate (Class of 1959) and aerospace industry legend Allan J. McDonald in 2009. At the center of Hansen's analysis of the Challenger tragedy is McDonald himself, a skilled engineer and executive, who did his best, first, to oppose the controversial launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Center of Space Shuttle Challenger on the cold, heartless morning of January 28, 1986, and then, for the next 35 years, until Al's death in March 2021, fought to draw attention to the real reasons behind the disaster. Hansen's story is not one of a mere whistle-blower but of a meticulously rigorous engineer who committed himself to addressing all of the factors ”technical and non-technical” that led to the Challenger accident, some of which were never included in NASA's Failure Team report submitted to the Presidential Commission. Along the way of telling the tragic story of Challenger, Hansen will explore more generally the critical importance of failure analysis in all fields of engineering, design, construction, operation, and management of complex technological systems.
This Science Matters lecture is part of the Engineering Courage Symposium honoring McDonald and co-sponsored by the College of Letters and Science, The College of Engineering, the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Montana Engineering Education and Research Center.