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Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster (1983)
Scientist Richard Feynman the heart of 'The Challenger Disaster'
Scientist Richard Feynman the heart of 'The Challenger Disaster'

At a hearing of the presidential commission investigating the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, Richard Feynman conducted an experiment of sorts in the media-packed room. The Caltech physicist and Nobel laureate clamped material from a shuttle O-ring and dropped it in ice water. At merely the temperature of a cold soda, the rubber became rigid and dented. The conclusion was obvious — the gasket material lost its ability to seal, just as the O-rings had on the shuttle's right solid rocket booster. "I believe that has some significance for our problem," the scientist said with memorable understatement in demonstrating why America's 25th space shuttle mission...

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