Report of the PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident

[225-256] Appendix D: Supporting Charts and Documents Referred to During The Commission Investigation and Report


Table of Contents


1. Relevant Organization Charts of NASA and Morton Thiokol.


Morton Thiokol


2. Temperature Definitions (as applicable to this report)




Field Joint (O-ring) Temperature

A calculated temperature for the surface of the Solid Rocket Booster in the vicinity of the tang/clevis joint. The O-ring temperature is assumed to be the same. Calculations are based on a thermal model which includes ambient temperature among the variables. (See references 1 and 2.)


Ambient Temperature (at launch)

Measured atmospheric temperature at: (See reference 3)

  • Camera Site 3, approximately 1,000 feet, bearing 150 degrees from Launch Pad 39B (36 degrees Fahrenheit at launch.)
  • At a weather observation site approximately 3,000 feet east of the Kennedy Shuttle Landing Facility; (reported minimum of 24 degrees Fahrenheit and maximum of 43 degrees Fahrenheit for January 28, 1986).


1. Report, "Accident Analysis Team Report, Solid Rocket Motor Working Group, NASA, April 1986", pages B-105 through B-114.
2. Commission Panel Work Session (Solid Rocket Booster matters) Design and Production Panel; Brigham City, Utah, March 18, 1986, pages 392 through 403.
3. Report, "Accident Analysis Team Report, Space Shuttle Systems Working Group. NASA, April 1986", pages 18 through 23, Tables B.1 and B.2.

Note: A comparison of atmospheric environmental data (wind, temperature, precipitation) for Flights STS-1 through STS-61C in included in Tables B.5 and B.6 of reference 3.


3. Early Marshall documents and memoranda raising design objections.


4. Documents relating to the change from Criticality 1R to 1, and the waiver of the redundancy requirements for the Solid Rocket Motor seal.


5. Memoranda written following the field joint O-ring erosion on STS 41-B (flight 10).


6. Marshall urgent request for briefing after the STS 51-C mission (flight 15).


7. Internal NASA Headquarters memorandum after visit to Marshall.


8. Thiokol letters and memoranda written after O-ring concern escalates.


9. Marshall internal memorandum in the fall of 1985.

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