What they didn't want you to know
"We all watched in shock and disbelief when Challenger was lost. Probably no one felt more disappointment and regret than Allan McDonald, who had warned us not to launch that day. His story tells of loss, grief, and the eventual rebuilding and recovery."--Robert "Hoot" Gibson, former Space Shuttle pilot and commander
"A major contribution to a difficult episode in the history of human spaceflight."--Roger D. Launius, Division of Space History, Smithsonian Institution
"McDonald tells the heartbreaking tale of how he saw his words of warning ignored, and the fateful consequences of that decision."--Donald C. Elder III, Eastern New Mexico University
On a cold January morning in 1986, NASA launched the Space Shuttle Challenger, despite warnings against doing so by many individuals, including Allan McDonald. The fiery destruction of Challenger on live television moments after launch remains an indelible image in the nation’s collective memory.
In Truth, Lies, and O-Rings, McDonald, a skilled engineer and executive, relives the tragedy from where he stood at Launch Control Center. As he fought to draw attention to the real reasons behind the disaster, he was the only one targeted for retribution by both NASA and his employer, Morton Thiokol, Inc., makers of the shuttle's solid rocket boosters. In this whistle-blowing yet rigorous and fair-minded book, McDonald, with the assistance of internationally distinguished aerospace historian James R. Hansen, addresses all of the factors that led to the accident, some of which were never included in NASA's Failure Team report submitted to the Presidential Commission.
Truth, Lies, and O-Rings is the first look at the Challenger tragedy and its aftermath from someone who was on the inside, recognized the potential disaster, and tried to prevent it. It also addresses the early warnings of very severe debris issues from the first two post-Challenger flights, which ultimately resulted in the loss of Columbia some fifteen years later.
Allan J. McDonald retired as vice president and technical director for advanced technology programs at ATK Thiokol Propulsion in 2001. He was the director of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor Project at the time of the Challenger accident and, later, vice president of engineering for space operations during the redesign and requalification of the solid rocket motors. James R. Hansen is professor of history and director of the Honors College at Auburn University.
Own them all if you can, but if you only own one, make it "Truth, Lies and O-Rings."
I am a large fan of Richard Feynman who served as one of the investigators for the Presidential Commission, Challenger/NASA failure.
Indeed he took very thorough notes at the time of Challenger as he wanted to make sure he got his story straight.
It's a great look into the behind-the-scenes actions from the technical perspective. It is all from the perspective of the author, but it is fascinating.Published 1 month ago by Mark Howard
For all the technical aspects it was a page turner. I have a much better understanding of those accidents. Great readPublished 1 month ago by Glenn Adams
A thorough unbiased analysis of the events before, during and after the Challenger disaster.
Great book... Allan McDonald has the reputation and mindset in writing an honest account! Highly recommend this book!Published 2 months ago by L. C. White
Anybody who is in engineering should read this book. Both students and upper level managers can learn from this book.Published 2 months ago by Fred
We recently made a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. Seeing the retired shuttle Atlantis reminded me of the terrible Challenger disaster. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Interesting look at the launch decision and redesign process from a direct participant at Morton Thiokol. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Chris Heisel
Thank goodness for people of integrity, and people who take copious notes at the time. In this case one person fits both categories. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Peter H.
Good read. Didn't sound like author was just covering his butt. I'm no engineer but I found the science of the solid rocket boosters quite interesting.Published 5 months ago by D. lawrence