The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, Enlarged Edition


When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986, millions of Americans became bound together in a single, historic moment. Many still vividly remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the tragedy. Diane Vaughan recreates the steps leading up to that fateful decision, contradicting conventional interpretations to prove that what occurred at NASA was not skullduggery or misconduct but a disastrous mistake.
Why did NASA managers, who not only

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  1. Amazon Customer says:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Dense but thorough, July 3, 2017
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    Spartacus (San Diego, CA) –

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    As a safety representative in a large organization with codified methods for submitting safety concerns this has been essential reading to my continued education. This mishap was not about the O-ring. It was about the paradigm in which evaluations of the O-ring were made. A structured, seemingly thorough way of determining safety concerns which showed its problems in one large explosion.
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  2. Anonymous says:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Five Stars, May 5, 2017
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    This review is from: The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, Enlarged Edition (Paperback)
    Essential reading for any organization; initial wrong decisions have consequences
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  3. Anonymous says:
    3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Complex but worth it, April 25, 2016
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    This review is from: The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, Enlarged Edition (Paperback)
    Magisterial review of a tragic event. Vaughan is worth reading for her ability to decipher trends and forces which shaped participants in the launch decision, even though they were often unaware of those influences at the time. She offers a compelling case for rejecting the conventional wisdom about the launch decision as insufficient, showing that sometimes the simplest explanations for things can be misleading.
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