When Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds into its flight on the morning of 28 January 1986, it represented one of the most shocking events in the history of American spaceflight. A Presidential Commission was immediately convened to explore what had gone wrong, but with the vast complexity of the space shuttle and so many vested interests involved in the investigation, discovering the truth presented an almost impossible challenge. A truly independent member of the investigation was Richard Feynman. One of the most accomplished scientists of his generation, he worked on the Manhattan Project building the first atom bomb and won the Nobel Prize for his breakthroughs in quantum physics. Feynman deployed exceptional integrity, charm and relentless scientific logic to investigate the secrets of the Shuttle disaster and in doing so, helped make the US Space Programme safer. Written by
When Feynemen is visiting the orbiter during his inspection, it is shown with the NASA "Meatball" logo, which was not used on any orbiter until 1998. See more »
The other commissioners are just being respectful.
And you're saying I'm not? You understand the implications of the oxygen being activated? I do. The astronauts had to do that themselves. Which means they were ALIVE for at least some of those two minutes and thirty six seconds before they slammed into the ocean. Mr Rogers I'm an atheist, I personally doubt they're touching the face of God so I prefer to show my respect by finding the CAUSE of their appalling deaths and not stand around looking...
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How times flies when watching a good film! The story is compelling because it is based on real events, though the sets, script and acting also all contributed. The result is not only moving but you get a great insight into the dilemmas and vested interests that can exist at top of government and management.
The film is based on the last of Feynman's autobiographical works "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" so it is told from his perspective. The film shows how Feynman was pointed in the right direction. However the story is more complicated. For example there was not time to mention the role of Roger Boisjoly of Morton Thiokol who wrote a damning report about the O-rings six months before the disaster. The report was ignored. He lectured on work-place ethics.
William Hurt is physically similar Richard Feynman and did incredibly well with his impersonation. You can see Feynman in action in videos of him lecturing to a lay audience in Auckland and judge for yourself. Feynman died one year and nine months after the publication of the Rogers Commission Report with his appendix, and sadly his wife Gweneth also died the following year.
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