Re: The Columbia

Subject: Re: The Columbia
From: Jan Henning <henning -at- r-l -dot- de>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 18:12:48 +0100

The engineers who tried unsuccessfully to persuade NASA management to postpone the Challenger launch due to cold weather presented their data on launch damage as a function of launch temperature in chronological order, from the first shuttle launch to the last.

Even worse: They did not present the damage as a function of anything - they simply listed the damage incidents with undifferentiated environmental data. Furthermore, they didn't provide comparison data, i.e., they did not offer any information on the difference between the flights that had problems and those that had none.

Indeed, Challenger was a sad example of poor technical communication.

Indeed it was. And it remains an excellent example of why good technical writers are useful.

Jan Henning

Jan Henning
Am Schlossberg 14, D-82547 Eurasburg, Germany

Phone: +49 700 0200 0700, Fax: +49 8179 9307-12
E-Mail: henning -at- r-l -dot- de, Web:


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Re: The Columbia: From: SteveFJong

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