INSPIRED BY THE TRUE STORY On the eve of the Challenger explosion in 1986 one engineer goes to the extreme to stop the launch. This hot-headed engineer makes a desperate race against the ... See full summary »
Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes follows the story of the Space Shuttle Challenger and its crew, specifically Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian to be launched into space. McAuliffe was a... See full summary »
An introspective journey on the lessons life has taught 20 legends of the vertical world. At times brutally honest, other times pensive, these athletes' stories reveal the triumph of the ... See full summary »
When they start losing family members and neighbors due to WWII and the Nazi government's policies, a quiet married couple becomes disillusioned and begins spreading leaflets against the government - a crime punishable by death.
When a teacher is arrested in Tennessee for trying to teach evolution in 1925, a young ambitious reporter must choose whether to take advice from his sweetheart or the notorious columnist when it comes to his approach to the story.
In the late 1960s, the United States space program neared its goal of landing a man on the Moon, but it was a journey that began years before. This is the story of Project Apollo - 12 years... See full summary »
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
After Feynman visits the Marshall factory, he records notes on an electronic typewriter. One note reads (electronically) "Cost versus reliability" which we then see printed as "Cost VS reliability". The typewriter would not abbreviate "versus", but would print verbatim off the screen. See more »
What is science? Science is a way to teach how something gets to be known, in as much as anything can be known because nothing is known absolutely.
See more »
Finely Crafted Film About How Science and Facts Clash with Insider Politics Through the Eyes of Physics Genius Richard Feynman
In 1986, the United States experienced possibly the worst space flight disaster in NASA's history up until that time. (The fire which occurred during the testing of Apollo 1 in 1967 was probably the worst before Challenger.) With a disaster of this magnitude, then President Reagan formed a board of inquiry to determine the cause of the Challenger's untimely explosion which occurred less than 1.5 minutes into its launch. Most of the members of the commission were government, military, and NASA insiders such as astronauts Neil Armonstrong and Sally Ride, Air Force General Donald Kutyna, and William P. Rogers, former cabinet member of presidents and adviser to President Reagan. However, one board member was not only NOT an insider but a Nobel Laureate in Physics: Dr Richard Feynman. The present film chronicles the investigation through the eyes of Feynman, played convincingly by William Hurt, regarded as a bit of a maverick who did not understand the magnitude of consequences if the full and possibly ugly truth were ever laid bare before public scrutiny.
At the time of the disaster, Feynman was teaching physics at the California Institute of Technology. One of his former students, a NASA insider, recommends the professor become involved with the commission. From the first, Feynman clashes with the Director of the commission Rogers (Brian Dennehy), who is at first more worried about NASA's reputation than finding the cause of the Challenger disaster. Feynman begins a bit of rogue investigative work which frustrates other members of the commission, who are worried that reputations and business contracts could be be jeopardized by the findings.
Feynman then befriends General Donald Kutyna (Bruce Greenwood), who turns out to be an invaluable ally in the investigation. Kutyna explains to Feynman that the politics surrounding such an investigation often becomes messy, even ugly. People try to veil the truth, often with lots of scientific jargon, fearing that reputations, positions, and even careers might be compromised if unflattering facts come into the spotlight. At the same time, since Feynman is an outsider, he is much more free to ascertain the truth than other members. Then the physics professor receives a strange message which says "it's just ivory soap". Late in the film, Feynman makes a fascinating presentation of his findings to the other commission members. After the credits, video footage of the real Feynman making the identical presentation is shown as a kind of epilogue or coda.
A compelling and thoroughly entertaining insiders' look into a commission of inquiry appointed by the US Government. While the need to find the truth is what the public expects, they don't often see the political shenanigans which often occur when such an investigation embarks on its task. The Warren Commission, the mishandled board of inquiry formed to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, made decisions which were above and beyond the goal of finding the truth, such as shielding crucial pieces of evidence from other board members for fear that such exposure would embarrass and/or infuriate the Kennedy family. (The Warren Commission's failures would fuel conspiracy theories for decades.) The Challenger Commission (or Rogers Commission) could have fallen into the same trap. However, because of the integrity of several of the members of the board, the truth of the Challenger disaster was finally revealed. And as a result, NASA made far-reaching improvements in its shuttle technology. Sadly, the Shuttle Disaster Commission was Feynman's last undertaking which received national attention. Feynman would die of cancer in 1988 at the age of 69.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this