January 1986: Thirty Years Ago.
What is an accident? “An accident is an undesirable incidental and unplanned event that could have been prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence. Most scientists who study unintentional injury avoid using the term “accident” and focus on factors that increase risk of severe injury and that reduce injury incidence and severity.” —Wikipedia
“Normal Accident”: “The kind of accident one can expect in the normal functioning of a technologically complex operation,” said Professor Charles Perrow of Yale University.
Was it the failure of the O-ring, or was it the failure of NASA at the time?
What is/was “an acceptable risk”? “Acceptable risk is a risk that is understood and tolerated usually because the cost or difficulty of implementing an effective countermeasure for the associated vulnerability exceeds the expectation of loss.” –Wikipedia
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SHUTTLE TO NOWHERE?
Something wonderful (73 seconds in humanEarthTime) is about to happen.
AND IT DID!
touching the face of GodMETAphor:
To touch is to be destroyed:
“this mortal coil” is shuffled —
At the time of the explosion, people applaud, as we do at the time of the brilliance of fireworks, at the time of the glory of pyrotechnics–and then the reality of human life set in–and tears of horrorshockloss. Yet, nevertheless, the brilliance, the beauty, were there.
We have applause at separation–
s e p a r a t i o n f r o m t h i s l i f e
while they touched the face of
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© James F. O’Neil 2/86