Create a 2 pages page paper that discusses egr ethics: challenger disaster. Impediments to Responsible Decision Making Concisely, the Challenger Disaster ensued on January 28, 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger burst into flames soon after takeoff killing all its seven-crew members. The cause of the accident was attributed to the failure of the O-ring seals which sad to mention, had been identified as a potential hazard for several years prior to the disaster. The relevant management was to blame for failing to take safety precautions even with the knowledge of the condition of the O-ring seals.
Often, engineering production involves teamwork. As such, channeling of decisions to the relevant bodies should take an appropriate flow that enhances responsible decision-making. Poor communication or lack of communication renders a decision no matter how viable it is ineffective. With regard to the challenge accident, it is apparent there was concern about the weather and a number of people were discussing the O-ring problem. However, these discussions could not reach all the stakeholders in the managerial levels owing to poor communication (Roland and Martin 115). Ensuring communication to all the relevant personnel perhaps could have prompted the decision not to launch the challenger before addressing the faults identified.
Another impediment to pertinent decision-making is failure to consider the opinion of the experts especially the subordinate members. Roger Boisjoly and Arnold Thompson, seal experts working for the contractor company Thiokol, had consistently explained to the relevant authorities including NASA management, the deficiency of the O-rings and recommended the postponement of the launch (Roland and Martin 115). The contractor company supported this idea but unfortunately, NASA opposed any move to delay the launch. The eventuality was the Challenger disaster simply because the highest decision-making body ignored the recommendation of the two experts who had safety of the whole operation in their hearts.
Precisely, a great lesson from the Challenger disaster is that professionals are obliged to uphold and advance the integrity, honor, and dignity of their profession. The engineering profession has fundamental principles, which entail. use of knowledge and skills to enhance human wellbeing, honesty, impartiality, and serving clients with fidelity, striving to improve the competence and prestige of the engineering profession. Among the principles that engineers are supposed to observe, safety is paramount amongst health and public welfare (Roland and Martin 114). Considerably, had the engineers entrusted to launch the Challenger had safety as their greatest priority, they would not have hastened to launch this vehicle amidst controversy with regard to the effectiveness of the O-ring seals. Safety is paramount in all engineering activities (Roland and Martin 114)
The other good lesson from the disaster is that the engineers at the managerial positions should use their engineering experience and even the expertise of their subordinate engineers while making decisions involving technical matters. Before the launch, engineers McDonald and Boisjoly opposed the launch and appealed against the launch to NASA management owing to the unfavorable temperatures. Notably, McDonald refused to sign the formal recommendation to launch (Roland and Martin 115). However, the management ignored his concerns and went ahead to approve the launch which later turned out disastrous. Had NASA management taken Macdonald for an expert, this would perhaps have saved them the agony and embarrassment occasioned by the failure of the Challenger.
Roland, Schinzinger and Martin Mike. .Introduction to Engineering Ethics. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2000. Print.