The National Aeronautics and Space Administration

I learned about this event when I was younger, and reading it now is still sad to know that these astronauts lost their life for an unethical situation. What I learned about this event was that it was a simple fix. The O-ring is used to aid in the attachment of the different sections of the rocket to the shuttle (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2013). The O-rings were manufactured by a company known as MTI (Morton Thiokol). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration knew there was something wrong with the O-rings at low temperature. Before the launch, the shuttles temperature dropped to freezing temperatures. MTI’s engineers wanted to wait to launch the shuttle and NASA engineers wanted to launch but advised they did not want to override their decision to not launch (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2013). The division leader for MTI did not want to risk losing the business, so they launched the shuttle regardless of the safety issues and those 7 astronauts lost their lives. What I learned from this event was that standard safety protocols and guidelines were not followed. They made a greedy decision to choose business over safety and it ultimately was a fatal decision. This story taught me to never act out of fear and to act for what’s right. If I know there is a 50/50 chance something will not work out, or I am making the wrong decision, I will not move forward with the idea. As a leader, you made that oath to protect your subordinates and in this situation, the employees were not protected and their lives were taking for a senseless decision to not follow the proper safety protocols and fix the O-ring before launching.

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