Twenty years after the Challenger

January 24, 2006

jacket imageA piece by John Noble Wilford in the New York Times is occasioned by the anniversaries of the destruction of the space shuttles Challenger (twenty years ago on January 28, 1986) and Columbia (three years ago on February 1, 2003) and the fire that killed three Apollo astronauts (thirty-nine years ago on January 27, 1967).
Ten years ago we published The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA by Diane Vaughan which put forth the view—now widely accepted—that the Challenger accident was not the result of bad engineeering but of a management culture that normalized deviance: that flew missions even when presented with evidence of serious problems. The Columbia accident showed how difficult it is to change the patterns of organizational life.
Another author brought a different sensibility to the shuttle; you can read Howard Nemerov’s two poems on the space shuttle.

3 Responses to Twenty years after the Challenger

  1. Josh Neuman on October 22, 2006 at 1:16 ami

    I’m probably going to use this article in my surrealism directory…
    Surrealism directory by Josh Neuman

  2. poetryman on May 30, 2007 at 6:48 pmi

    Feather brained clouds off on rain’s errand.
    Insects mating furiously in flight–They call them love bugs.
    Cleaving to one another as oblivion approaches.
    Working their wings in the morning breeze.

  3. poetryman on June 13, 2007 at 6:01 pmi

    12 JUne 2007
    A silver sky
    ripe for the mirror.
    you can not see yourself in this mirror
    you can only see others
    moreover, you can only see what others choose to expose.
    Their houses, their boats, their sea-doos.
    Birds skimming low over the water could
    like as not
    see them selves if they were to look down
    as they skim low over the water
    but they never do.
    Rather they allow their reflections to chase them
    quick and sharp over the still, glistening waters
    while the bird’s mind remains ever fixed on
    food, or other birds, or escaping those damn noisy humans.
    A dense forest impenetrable as a gaze.

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