Feynman On The Challenger Disaster

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” – Richard Feynman, Rogers Commission Report

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2 Comments

  1. Daniel Kuehn said,

    July 9, 2011 at 5:37 AM

    Now there’s a guy that could care less about a government’s metric for how successful things are. Can you imagine, in the report, if instead of disputing the premises and goals of NASA managers and pointing them to what NASA engineers had worked on, he instead spent his time demonstrating that “even by NASA managers’ own standards they had failed?”

  2. Gary Gunnels said,

    July 9, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    That’s true, he didn’t care.

    Then again, did NASA management ultimately care about his conclusions?

    I believe it was Robert Park (who wrote one of my favorite popular science books – Voodoo Science) who said that NASA is great at two things: space science and public relations. I think you would get a lot less of latter if NASA focused on the former, as opposed to focusing on manned missions to Mars, etc.


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