After briefly summarizing Aristotle’s virtue ethics (a minimum of 150 words), answer the following questions in three to five sentences each:1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of virtue ethics in relation to business ethics?2. How can you analyze the “Oracle vs. People Soft” case study from an Aristolean virtue ethicist perspective?3. How would Friedman respond? How would Freeman?Challenger Disaster 30 Years Ago Shocked the World, Changed NASA
By Mike Wall January 28, 2016
Thirty years ago today, NASA suffered a spaceflight tragedy that stunned the world
and changed the agency forever.
On Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after
blasting off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, killing all seven astronauts on
board — including New Hampshire educator Christa McAuliffe, a civilian who had
been selected to fly via NASA’s “Teacher in Space” program.
NASA astronauts had died on the job before — Apollo 1 crewmembers Ed White,
Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee were lost when a fire broke out inside their
command module during a launchpad exercise on Jan. 27, 1967 — but the
Challenger disaster was something different altogether. [Remembering Challenger:
NASA’s 1st Shuttle Tragedy (Photos)]
“The whole country and the whole world were in shock when that happened,
because that was the first time the United States had actually lost a space vehicle
with crew on board,” said former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao, who flew three space
shuttle missions during his career (in 1994, 1996 and 2000), and also served as
commander of the International Space Station from October 2004 through April
“It was even more shocking because Christa McAuliffe was not a professional
astronaut,” Chiao told “If you lose military people during a military
operation, it’s sad and it’s tragic, but they’re professionals doing a job, and that’s
kind of the way I look at professional astronauts. But you’re taking someone who’s
not a professional, and it happened to be that mission that got lost — it added to the
Click here for more videos…
NASA Remembers Challenger
Changing the culture
On Jan. 28, 1986, NASA’s space shuttle Challenger exploded after liftoff, killing seven
astronauts and shocking the world. Here’s how the Challenger accident occurred.
(Image credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics artist)
Before Challenger launched on its ill-fated STS-51L mission, the space shuttle
program had completed 24 missions in a row, starting with the April 1981 liftoff of
the orbiter Columbia. That run of success bred a measure of complacency, Chiao
“There was a ‘launch fever’ at the time, to try to get these missions off on time, and
get more missions going,” he said. That type of thinking played a significant role in
the disaster, experts have concluded. Challenger was lost because a rubber “O-ring”
seal on the shuttle’s right-hand solid rocket booster failed, allowing hot gas to
escape and damage the orbiter’s external fuel tank, as well as the gear that attached
the booster to the tank.
The O-ring failed in part because unusually cold temperatures on launch day caused
the part to harden, investigators later determined. The temperature at liftoff time
was 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) — 15 degrees F (8 degrees C) colder
than any previous shuttle launch, NASA officials have said. [NASA Remembers
Challenger (Video)]
“The decision to launch the Challenger was flawed. Those who made that decision
were unaware of the recent history of problems concerning the O-rings and the
joint, and were unaware of the initial written recommendation of the contractor
advising against the launch at temperatures below 53 degrees Fahrenheit [11.7
degrees C] and the continuing opposition of the engineers at Thiokol [Morton
Thiokol, which built the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters] after the management
reversed its position,” investigators wrote in their report about the disaster, which
is known as the Rogers Commission Report.
“They did not have a clear understanding of Rockwell’s concern that it was not safe
to launch because of ice on the pad,” they added. (Rockwell International built the
space shuttles for NASA.) “If the decision-makers had known all of the facts, it is
highly unlikely that they would have decided to launch 51L on Jan. 28, 1986.”
In a way, the accident jolted these decision-makers awake, Chiao said.
“A lot of things changed,” he said. “The space shuttle had to be entirely re-certified.
Every last little technical piece was re-analyzed.”
This work took nearly three years. The shuttle program was grounded until the
orbiter Discovery blasted off on Sept. 29, 1988.
Fallen heroes
The Challenger disaster claimed the lives of seven people: commander Francis
“Dick” Scobee; pilot Mike Smith; mission specialists Judith Resnik, Ron McNair and
Ellison Onizuka; and payload specialists McAuliffe and Greg Jarvis.
They are still missed today, three decades later.
“Thirty years just seems like yesterday,” said Barbara Morgan, who served as
McAuliffe’s “Teacher in Space” backup and eventually made it to orbit herself in
2007, aboard the space shuttle Endeavour. “These people are still with me all the
time, every day.”
Morgan said that McAuliffe and the “Teacher in Space” program had a huge impact,
even though the STS-51L mission ended in tragedy.
“It was a really bad time for education. A huge study had come out — a big
document called ‘A Nation at Risk,’ and it talked about how bad our education
system was, and it kind of painted all schools and all teachers with a big, broad, bad
paintbrush,” Morgan told “There was a very popular saying at the time:
‘Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.'”
But McAuliffe helped change that perception, she added. “Christa was just a
wonderful teacher, a wonderful human being and a wonderful representative of our
profession, and that made it so that it got turned around,” Morgan said. “That’s
something that I’m really, really grateful for, and proud of.” Just a few months after
the Challenger accident, the fallen astronauts’ family members set up a nonprofit
called the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, which seeks to spark
students’ interest in science, technology and math by giving them exciting, hands-on
experiences in these fields.
The Challenger Center has reached nearly 4.5 million kids over the last 30 years,
Morgan said.
The nonprofit is a “living legacy to education, carrying on the education mission that
Challenger was all about,” she said. “To me, that speaks volumes about what the
crew was like and who they were, and it’s reflected in their wonderful families as
Click here for more videos…
Columbia & Challenger – Astronaut Jerry Ross Remembers | Video
Keep exploring
Sadly, Challenger was not the space shuttle program’s only tragedy. On Feb. 1, 2003,
the orbiter Columbia broke apart upon re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, killing all
seven astronauts on board.
These crewmembers were commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool;
payload commander Michael Anderson; mission specialists David Brown, Kalpana
Chawla and Laurel Clark; and payload specialist Ilan Ramon, from the Israel Space
A piece of insulating foam had broken off Columbia’s external fuel tank during the
orbiter’s launch more than two weeks earlier, damaging the shuttle’s left wing.
Investigators later determined that this damage allowed hot atmospheric gases to
enter the wing’s interior, leading to the shuttle’s destruction. (Some complacency
had crept back into the shuttle program by 2003, Chiao said; foam shedding had
been observed during previous shuttle launches but had not been deemed a
potentially catastrophic phenomenon.) [Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster Explained
Disasters such as the losses of Challenger and Columbia serve as reminders that
spaceflight is an inherently difficult and risky proposition, Chiao said.
“I don’t think space travel will ever be as safe as commercial air travel, just because
the amount of energy you have to put into a vehicle to accelerate it to orbital speed
at 17,500 mph [28,160 km/h] — any time you have to put that much energy into a
vehicle, and then take it out again to bring it back, there’s going to be risk involved,”
he said.
“Unfortunately, as much as we try to minimize and avoid these mishaps, every now
and then we’re going to have them happen,” Chiao added. “What we have to do is, do
what we can to learn from them, apply lessons learned and keep moving forward.”
NASA’s path forward does not include the space shuttle; the agency grounded its
remaining orbiters for good in July 2011. American astronauts are currently
dependent upon Russian Soyuz spacecraft to get to and from the International Space
Station, though NASA has said it hopes private spacecraft developed by Boeing and
SpaceX will be ready to take over this taxi service by late 2017.
NASA’s human spaceflight program, meanwhile, is focused on getting people to Mars
sometime in the 2030s (with a mission to a captured asteroid in lunar orbit in the
2020s currently envisioned as a sort of stepping stone).
The agency is developing a capsule called Orion and a huge rocket called the Space
Launch System to make all this happen.
“I know we’re going to get there,” Morgan said of Mars. “It’s taken longer than I
think we all wished, but it’s exciting.”
You can learn much more about the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia tragedies
Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom,
Facebook or Google+. Originally published on
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