The Space Shuttle Challenger incident
a process view
On January 28, 1986, the United States Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after lift-off; the entire crew was lost. In the aftermath that ensued, U.S. President Ronald Reagan decreed a special commission to study the explosion and report on its cause. This article examines this accident through a series of six articles that each focus on a specific area of part of this story. The first article details the inception of the Shuttle program, explaining its design, development, and key structural components. Article two documents the events leading up to Challenger's launch and explains why the mission was postponed six times before it finally launched. The third outlines the presidential commission's analysis of the explosion, detailing the fourteen-member commission's sixteen findings and explaining what it believes was the accident's contributing cause (poor decision-making); it also discusses NASA's safety program.