Updated: May 21, 2009 added video
by Vince Reardon
The Daily Message Point
May 12, 2009
“Flight controllers here are looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously, a major malfunction.” These somber words of Steve Nesbit, NASA’s Mission Control spokesman, were said minutes after the worst disaster in the history of the American space program.
On January 28, 1986, at 11:39 a.m. EST, the Space Shuttle Challenger, carrying seven astronauts, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe, explored 73 seconds into its mission at an altitude of 48,000 feet.
Six months earlier Richard C. Cook, a resource analyst at NASA for the Shuttle’s solid rocket boosters, wrote a memo to NASA officials warning of a serious defect in O-rings sealing rocket segments. The warning was ignored.
Richard C. Cook is a former federal analyst who writes on public policy issues. His book “We Hold These Truths: the Hope of Monetary Reform” is now available at http://www.tendrilpress.com. His website is http://www.richardccook.com.
Rick Cook on the Space Shuttle Challenger
Rick Cook, author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age, was the first NASA official to testify about the space agency’s cover up in the 1986 Challenger explosion. Did the words of the Constitution inspire him to become a whistleblower? What would you be willing to give up for the truth?
video: Rick Cook on the Space Shuttle Challenger (no longer available)