Cause-Consequence Analysis for NASA’s Space Transportation System (STS)-Solid Rocket Booster (SRB)

  •  Kouroush Jenab    
  •  Sam Khoury    
  •  Troy Fine    
  •  Saeid Moslehpour    


The Challenger Space Shuttle disaster was caused by a faulty O-Ring in the field joint of the solid rocket booster.This paper will explore the effectiveness a cause-consequence analysis would have had on the decisions relatedto the faulty O-rings. The ultimate decision to launch the shuttle in a temperature environment with increasedO-ring failure risk was a failure of decision makers to link increased probability of failure with potentialconsequences. This paper will outline how the use of a cause-consequence analysis would have given thedecision makers a better depiction of the information necessary for making a better decision. To expand on thecause-consequence analysis, a case is made for setting a specific probability of failure threshold for automaticlaunch cancelation that would have prevented the launch of the Challenger Space Shuttle at lower temperatures.

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