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Question 1a

Apply the analysis of the “Ethics Line Diagram” methodology, in the case of the
Challenger disaster [Fleddermann 4th Ed pages 7-12], to the “action” of relevant parties.

Use one Line-Drawing each for the Point-of-View of each of the two Parties, for their
respective problems under consideration/ points under study. Include at least 3 intermediate
points (comprising either Pi, points under study, and/or SCi scenarios).
•Morton Thiokol recommending the launch of Challenger to proceed, noting “Lund (of
Thiokol) reversed his previous decision and recommended that the launch proceed.”
[Fleddermann 4th Ed page 11]; and additionally noting that Thiokol were already aware
of problems with the O-rings;

Pt Ethics Line Drawing, from the point-of-view of Morton Thiokol Located from
the Left

NP Give their consent to proceed with the O-ring design to keep the Left point
launch date without reporting the failed tests anyway

RP Fasten the design and testing of new joint materials such as the Right point
steel billets to safely support the solid rocket boosters during the
required duration of the flight without delaying the launch date to
responsibly fulfill the contract

P1 Morton Thiokol engineers took approximately 3 years Approximately

(1947-1977) to scale the Titan missile design into the solid 7/10
boosters with O-ring joints and test it in weather conditions similar
to those of the launch date only to discover the critical failures
and request a launch delay.

P2 Morton Thiokol redesigned the joints with the new materials, steel Approximately
billets, to address existing problems with O-rings such as rapid 7.5/10
erosion, but they couldn’t proceed to prototyping and testing due
to approaching deadlines.

P3 Morton Thiokol backpedalled their decisions due to pressure from Approximately

NASA to keep the launch date. 0.5/10

SC1 Test the solid booster design with O-rings much earlier in Approximately
simulated weather conditions of the launch date to discover the 9/10
failures much sooner and submit a safer design to NASA instead
of simply scaling up the Titan missile design after 3 years since
getting the contract.

SC2 Morton Thiokol stands firm by their first decision and postpone Approximately
the launch until they can fully address safety issues in the solid 8/10
rocket boosters.
•NASA did not want to postpone the launch, noting “NASA didn’t want to antagonize [Vice-
President] Bush, a strong NASA supporter, by postponing the launch due to inclement
weather after he had arrived.” [Fleddermann 4th Ed page 10]; and additionally noting that
NASA was already informed that the predicted temperatures (in the low 20’s degF) was
lower than the lowest 53 degF of previous launches where there was already “blow-by”
problems of the O-rings.

Pt Ethics Line Drawing, from the point-of-view of NASA Located from

the Left

NP Forcefully proceed the launch with any unsafe designs of the Left point
solid rocket booster by their schedule to please the Vice
President Bush.

RP Assure the solid rocket design is fully safe for the launch far Right point
ahead of the deadline and allow the onboard staff (especially
astronauts) to participate in the decision making process.

P1 NASA forced Morton Thiokol to backpedal to launch on schedule Approximately

the Challenger despite knowing the severity of the engineering 0/10
issues so as to keep their track record with the Congress for
securing their funds.

SC1 NASA informs the astronauts of the high danger of the Approximately
Challenger launch and only get the willing astronauts onboard. 5/10

SC2 NASA supports Thiokol in redesigning the solid rocket boosters Approximately
until they satisfy the safety requirements for launching with a 7/10
reasonable deadline extension and launch delay

SC3 NASA includes a soft launch deadline by which Morton Thiokol Approximately
must have produced a design that complies with all engineering 6/10
requirements or lose the contract, preferably by half of the time
between the contract signing and Challenger launch dates