Photo courtesy of Online Ethics Center (OEC)
My friend and rocket engineer, Roger Boisjoly, died on January 6. He loved his family, his church and his country.
Every time you get on an elevator, fly on a plane, use the brakes on your car or drive across a bridge, you should think of Roger because you are putting your life in the hands and conscience of an engineer. You trust that engineers have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to bosses who want to take risks or shortcuts to save money or increase profits at the expense of safety.
Roger was that kind of engineer.
Continue reading Roger Boisjoly – The Conscience of Engineering
How an Administration Ignored the Lessons of History
Twenty years ago this week the Challenger space shuttle blew up off the coast of the Kennedy Space Center. Like a lot of things the government has done wrong since –9.11, the war in Iraq, the creation of the incompetent and ineffective Department of Homeland Security –Challenger could have been prevented. Sadly, so could have the destruction of her sister ship and crew Columbia in 2003. Not preventing two predictable disasters was a real indictment of NASA management and the political administrations, Reagan and Bush II, which was trying to convert the civilian space program into funds toward the military “black” space effort. A lazy media, defense-contractor- dominated congressional oversight and a feckless NASA management, caused the entire episode to be repeated as Columbia reentered with a hole in its wing. NASA management made no effort from the time they learned of the damage to mount a rescue effort.
Continue reading Challenger: Twenty Years Later, Lessons Never Learned