Tag Archives: Challenger

The Challenges challenge and always will

I am absorbing Scott Kelly’s book Endurance. It is thrilling.

On page 108 he talks about that cold January day when he saw the Challenger explode 73 seconds after launch. He reminds us that it was a rubber O-ring on one of the solid rocket boosters that failed. The rubber was compromised due to unusually cold weather.

Ok, so a small thing like a rubber O-ring brought down that massive piece of equipment and killed everyone instantly.

That gives us pause about the little things, right?

But wait, on page 109 he tells us that this was a MANAGEMENT FAILURE.

Engineers working on the solid rocket boosters had raised concerns multiple times about the performance of the O-rings in cold weather. In a teleconference the night before Challenger’s launch, they had desperately tried to talk NASA managers into delaying the mission until the weather got warmer. Those engineers’ recommendations were not only ignored, they were left out of reports sent to higher level managers who made the final decision about whether or not to launch. They knew nothing about the O-ring problems or the engineers’ warnings, and neither did the astronauts who were risking their lives.”

Perhaps you are wondering what this has to do with any of us mere mortals.

It has plenty to do with us. We rely on car makers to make safe vehicles and not lie about things like carbon emissions etc, and they fail us time and time again.

We depend on corporations to make their manufacturing plants safe so that we can not only work, but work safely, free from serious health risks, and yet we have many stories of corporations failing us.

We read about intimate partner violence and see the horror that abusers heap on women and children time and time again, and yet, we continue to believe (or pretend to believe) that it’s a private matter and not a public health epidemic. The world loses 5.2 trillion dollars every year due to violence to women.

We continue to hit and physically abuse (and pretend that it’s discipline) our children and wonder why our daughters accept violent boyfriends and why sons do not understand what violence is. (Listen to Indrani’s TedX talk: “Expressing Love With Violence is a Lie”)

Let’s believe the research that tells us about the effects of physical abuse (Take the ACE quiz and read more about Adverse Childhood Experiences)

Let 2019 be the year that we end domestic violence in our homes.

Let us believe the science that tells us our children deserve to be parented with kindness and love.

Kindness and love are the parental equivalent of believing the O-rings will break and our families will be very damaged.

Will we be brave enough to question the status quo and allow the violence to stop?

Love and light,

Indrani Goradia