- ‘The Safety Case’
- Reputation and risk
- Partnership/joint ventures
- Process safety
Senior leaders, Safety professionals, those responsible for complex processes and legacy systems.
The NASA Shuttle Programme was 135 shuttle launches in the 30 years between 1981 and 2011. What is remarkable about the shuttle programme is how successful it actually was, given the enormous complexity of designing, building, maintaining and operating the orbiter, and its unique power system. A sign of how engineers were pushing the boundaries of technology was their creation of a fully fly by wire spacecraft with computers processing 96kb of memory in the form of ferrite cores.
By the 25th flight, in 1986, the images of take-off from Kennedy Space Centre had become comfortably familiar. Yet this flight lasted only 73 seconds before a solid rocket booster shot a lethal plume of flame which ignited the external tank containing liquid hydrogen and oxygen. The seven astronauts, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe, all perished.
From the very beginning, compromises and conflicting demands on the shuttle orbiter sowed the seeds that led to the loss of both Challenger and, in 2003, Columbia. This programme, commissioned by NATS, follows the space shuttle programme from 1968 when design and procurement decisions were being made, through to 2003, as the investigation into Columbia discovered that the astronauts might, in fact, have been saved.