This critical study of NASA's space shuttle program provides an in-depth examination of the events, decisions, and policies that may have contributed to the horrific destruction of the shuttles Challenger and Columbia. It first traces the early development of NASA's shuttle program, specifically examining the problems associated with the designs of shuttles OV-099 (which was to become Challenger) and OV-102 (which was to become Columbia). The reader is then taken through a detailed look at the first successful flights made by Challenger and Columbia and the cancellation of top-secret Shuttle flight 51-C (which would have launched under nearly identical weather conditions as the ill-fated Challenger). An in-depth assessment of the shuttles' disastrous final launches follows, including detailed accounts of the post-flight search and rescue operations, the official investigations into each accident, and the impact of each disaster on the future of NASA's manned space program.The program was behind schedule, but that is not unusual in big-budget space research; it was not the pork-barrel situation reported in the newspapers. ... for years on earlier manned space projects including the powerful Saturn V rocket which had sent astronauts to the moon. ... As late as 2002 the problem was reviewed, but without proper ... 1999 as maintenance crews were working on the system.
|Title||:||The Space Shuttle Program|
|Author||:||R. Michael Gordon|
|Publisher||:||McFarland - 2008|