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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (7)  | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
Died in Nephi, Utah, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameRoger Mark Boisjoly

Mini Bio (1)

Roger Boisjoly was born on April 25, 1938 in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA as Roger Mark Boisjoly. He was married to Roberta Malcolm. He died on January 6, 2012 in Nephi, Utah, USA.

Spouse (1)

Roberta Malcolm (1963 - 6 January 2012) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trivia (7)

In July 1985, he had warned NASA in a memo that if the weather was too cold, seals connecting sections of the space shuttle's huge rocket boosters could fail. He had pleaded with NASA to postpone the launching of the Challenger Space Shuttle on January 28, 1986 due to the unusually cold weather in Cape Canaveral, Florida that day, however officials went on with the launch. The Challenger exploded in the skies over Florida 73 seconds after it launched.
He earned a Bachelor's Degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was a practicing Mormon.
He is survived by his wife, Roberta Malcolm of St. George, Utah; two daughters, Norma Boisjoly Patterson and Darlene Boisjoly Richens; his brothers, Ronald Boisjoly; Russell Boisjoly; and Richard Boisjoly; and eight grandchildren.
He worked in the aerospace industry for 27 years when he and four other Thiokol engineers used a teleconference with NASA to press a case for delaying the Space Shuttle Challenger Shuttle because of the cold weather that Florida was experiencing. Later, the shuttle Challenger with 7 crew including Sharon Christa McAuliffe died in an explosion 73 seconds later.
After the Challenger disaster in 1986, he gave a presidential commission investigating the disaster internal corporate documents. His disclosure of the internal memo where he cited how cold weather could affect the shuttle launch was a key warning. He became the official whistle blower in the investigation of the Challenger Disaster where he provided internal memos regarding to delay the launching and postponed the flight which failed to get across the urgency. After his testimony, he was shunned and ostracized by the community.
In 1980, he accepted a pay cut to move with his family to Utah to deepen his involvement in the Mormon religion and join Morton Thiokol at Thiokol Company.
He was awarded the Prize for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He spoke to more than 300 universities and civic groups about corporate ethics. He was an expert in forensic engineering.

Personal Quotes (5)

[June 1985 memo to Thiokol] If the weather was too cold, seals connecting sections of the shuttle's huge rocket boosters could fail. The result could be catastrophe of the highest order, loss of human life.
[In 1987 after he was the whistle blower in the Challenger investigation] If you wreck this company, I'm going to put my kids on your doorstep.
[1988 on Sally Ride's support after the commission appearance] She was the only one. The only one.
[on fighting delay the Challenger launch to his superiors] How the hell can you ignore this?
[on the Challenger explosion] Thirteen seconds later, we saw it blow up.

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