Challenger Launch Decision by Diane Vaughan
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Challenger Launch Decision
By Diane Vaughan

The Challenger Launch Decision

Risky Technology, Culture and Deviance at NASA New edition

By (author) See other recent books by Diane Vaughan
Format: Paperback

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Challenger Launch Decision by Diane Vaughan

Book Awards

  • Winner of Society for Social Studies of Science: Rachel Carson Prize 1997.

Book Description

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. In "The Challenger Launch Decision," Diane Vaughan recreates the steps leading up to that fateful decision, contradicting conventional interpretations to prove that what occurred at NASA was not skulduggery or misconduct but a disastrous mistake. Journalists and investigators have historically cited production problems and managerial wrong-doing as the reasons behind the disaster. The Presidential Commission uncovered a flawed decision-making process at the space agency as well, citing a well-documented history of problems with the O-ring and a dramatic last-minute protest by engineers over the Solid Rocket Boosters as evidence of managerial neglect. Why did NASA managers, who not only had all the information prior to the launch but also were warned against it, decide to proceed? In retelling how the decision unfolded through the eyes of the managers and the engineers, Vaughan uncovers an incremental descent into poor judgment, supported by a culture of high-risk technology. She reveals how and why NASA insiders, when repeatedly faced with evidence that something was wrong, normalized the deviance so that it became acceptable to them. No safety rules were broken. No single individual was at fault. Instead, the cause of the disaster is a story not of evil but of the banality of organizational life. This work seeks to explain why the Challenger tragedy must be re-examined and offers an warning about the hidden hazards of living in this technological age.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226851761
ISBN-10: 0226851761
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 38mm)
Pages: 592
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 10-Apr-1997
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Diane Vaughan

Beauty of Modesty by Diane Vaughan Beauty of Modesty, Paperback (October 2005)

Written largely for a Christian audience, this book avoids being legalistic, parochial, or pietistic. It is useful for ministers, educators and a useful resource for parents who are fighting against the onslaught of sensuality and perversion their families face. The authors cover the subject under three main headings.

Uncoupling by Diane Vaughan Uncoupling, Paperback (March 1992)

Delineates the underlying pattern beneath every disintegrating relationship and sheds light on a number of key issues, such as why some people never psychologically separate.

» View all books by Diane Vaughan

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