This 1 hour course provides instruction in engineering ethics through a case study of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The minimum technical details needed to understand the physical cause of the Shuttle failure are given and the disaster itself is chronicled through NASA photographs. Next, the decision-making process—especially the discussions occurring during the teleconference held on the evening before the launch—is described. Direct quotations from engineers interviewed after the disaster are used to illustrate the ambiguities of the data and the pressures that the decision-makers faced in the months and hours preceding the launch. The course culminates in a discussion of several ethical issues raised by Challenger.
This course is an abbreviated version of the 3 hour course of the same title. This 1 hour abbreviated version is designed for Florida Engineers meeting the 1 hour Ethics requirement for renewal. This abbreviated version will also count towards any other State Requirement for 1 hour of Ethics