Man who warned of Challenger disaster dies at 73

Feb 07, 2012

The man who warned his employer of the equipment quirk that led to the deadly explosion of the space shuttle Challenger has died. Roger Boisjoly was 73.

A funeral home in Boisjoly's hometown of Nephi, Utah, confirmed his Jan. 6 death with The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Boisjoly (boh-zhoh-LAY') had written an ominous memo to his supervisors at Morton Thiokol six months before the shuttle launched on Jan. 28, 1986. He told the company that could compromise the seals connecting sections of the they manufactured.

Boisjoly and four other engineers pleaded with supervisors for a delay the night before the launch, as temperatures dipped below freezing.

The warning was ignored, and the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after . Seven crew members, including teacher Christa McAuliffe, were killed.

Explore further: Mysteries of space dust revealed

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Shuttle crew includes Challenger alternate

Aug 01, 2007

A woman scheduled to be the first schoolteacher launched into space by the United States was nearly a passenger on the ill-fated Challenger flight in 1986.

Milestones in 30-year shuttle program

Jul 03, 2011

NASA's space shuttle flights began three decades ago with Columbia and will end this month with the final voyage of Atlantis and the retirement of the fleet. Between, there were triumphs and tragedies.

Major moments in the US shuttle program

Jul 20, 2011

The US space shuttle is part cargo truck, part passenger bus, part airplane built for orbit, and has known soaring highs and devastating lows during its 30-year career.

NASA Successfully Completes Solid Rocket Motor Test

Mar 11, 2006

NASA's Space Shuttle Program successfully fired a full-scale, full-duration reusable solid rocket technical evaluation motor Thursday, March 9, at a Utah test facility. The two-minute static, or stationary, ...

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

4 hours ago

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

9 hours ago

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Telekinetic
2 / 5 (4) Feb 07, 2012
I remember this engineer at the time of the disaster. He was one of many conscientious people that industries have a policy of ignoring. An engineer in an early repair of the Fukushima reactor that finally failed had told the company that it was still faulty, but they paid him to keep his mouth shut. Then there was the old, retired contractor trying to warn the crane operator that it was unstable. If people knew what dangers lie in wait for them out of corrupt, uncaring, and money grubbing industrial managers, they would never leave the safety of their homes.(which are often filled with out-gassing toxic materials)
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (2) Feb 07, 2012
I have a huge amount of respect for the man and am very sorry to hear of his passing.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Feb 07, 2012
And to think that Republican George Bush did his best to punish any whistle blower that challenged his non stop stream of lies.