NASA engineer fired for opposing Shuttle launch

The New York Daily News reports
"Charlie Camarda has been bumped from his top NASA engineering post for backing colleagues who questioned the safety of Saturday's planned space shuttle launch, NASA officials said yesterday. Camarda's removal heightened the turmoil over NASA Administrator Michael Griffin's decision to take the "acceptable risk" of launching the Discovery orbiter despite warnings of potentially fatal blastoff debris."
The Challenger Disaster was a case study in my engineering ethics course in the late 80s. It was attributed to NASA's command-control political environment that ignored warnings from engineers about the o-ring's susceptibility to failure in cold weather conditions. In the Rogers Commission, Richard Feynman (a prominent physicist) pointed out "the discrepancy between management claiming a 1 in 100,000 chance of serious failure and the engineers claiming 1 in only 100".

I am sorry to hear that Camarda was removed from the mission but glad to see someone at NASA stand up for the safety of his fellow astronauts.


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