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From: Jeff Garland (jeff_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-11-02 22:18:27

On Wed, 02 Nov 2005 18:50:38 -0400, Michael D. Crawford wrote

Just a point of moderation here -- aside from the question about shared_ptr
these posts seem mostly off-topic for this list. I would suggest critiques of
the article go off-list somewhere else -- like directly to Michael....
>...snip long post...
> I'm lucky I only lost my job. Think of the poor Morton Thiokol
> engineer who didn't trust his conscience when he knew the Space
> Shuttle's O-rings had frozen. He settled for reporting the risk of
> explosion through company channels, and trusted that Morton Thiokol
> would do the right thing. By not raising Hell and going directly to
> NASA when he realized the launch hadn't been canceled, he allowed
> seven people to lose their lives, a billion dollar spacecraft to be
> destroyed, and the US space program to be set back several years.

And now for one really off-topic comment ;-)

Not sure it was the same engineer, but I read that one of the Morton Thiokol
engineers committed suicide later after not being able to convince management
to stop the launch -- he knew the launch was doomed. You also might want to
check out Edward Tufte's Visual Explanations. He describes why the charts the
engineers used to communicate the issues to management were completely
ineffective in communicating the obvious peril of launching at a temperature
25 degrees F lower than the temperature of any other launch. A basic
scatterplot of the right data would likely have prevented the whole accident.
 With software, things are rarely this clear...


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