Challenger“My God, Thiokol. When do you want me to launch? Next April?” Senior NASA official on a conference call to the manufacturer of the solid boosters, when they recommended on the morning of the launch that it be postponed.

Every man-made disaster and catastrophe has at least six Cascade Events leading up to the final event, the catastrophe according to the Rule of Seven.

This is a quick read of the Cascade Events that led up to the devastating explosion that millions of people watched live as the Challenger and seven crew members (one, the first teacher to go up in space) were killed. The Challenger: Organizational Failure. Anatomy of Catastrophe which is free today on Amazon. We will shortly be removing all these shorts, since they are rolled up into two longer books: Shit Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure.

I examine the Rule of Seven, and how human error plays a role in many catastrophes. Nothing happens in isolation or as a result of a single event. Thus, by learning from history, we can gain insight into preventing a similar catastrophe in the future. From the failure of management to understand the risks involved, to warnings on the day of launch by the manufacturer of a critical component being ignored, Challenger is a classic example of Organizational Failure.

In memoriam: index