The Space Shuttle Program: How NASA Lost Its Way

This critical study of NASA's space shuttle program provides an in-depth examination of the events, decisions, and policies that may have contributed to the horrific destruction of the shuttles Challenger and Columbia. It first traces the early development of NASA's shuttle program, specifically examining the problems associated with the designs of shuttles OV-099 (which was to become Challenger) and OV-102 (which was to become Columbia).The reader is then taken through a detailed look at the first successful flights made by Challenger and Columbia and the cancellation of top-secret Shuttle flight 51-C (which would have launched under nearly identical weather conditions as the ill-fated Challenger). An in-depth assessment of the shuttles' disastrous final launches follows, including detailed accounts of the post-flight search and rescue operations, the official investigations into each accident, and the impact of each disaster on the future of NASA's manned space program.