FEYNMAN AND THE CHALLENGER EXPLOSION

Nick Landau nick at n-landau.demon.co.uk
Mon Jan 29 00:37:16 EST 1996


love at not.war (TEMPEST) wrote:
>In article <4eg8i2$1725 at itssrv1.ucsf.edu>, bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu says...
>>
>>Richard Feynman knew, when he appeared on national television, in a 
>press
>>conference disclosing the reasons for the Challenger explosion, that many
>>people would not like him very much.  He had already interviewed several
>>engineers at Morton Thiokol, the prime contractor for the rocket engines,
>>who had disclosed to him that they anticipated the explosion before it
>>occurred.  But what noone at the press conference expected was that
>>Feynman would be brazen enough, in front of the national media,
>>to carry out an experiment, which would implicate those who made the 
>>decision to launch, as the cause of the accident.
>>
>>Feynman was a smart, jewish guy from New York, whom the generals did 
>not
>>like.  This was a remnant of his days at Los Alamos, where Feynman
>>had made a hobby of picking the locks on Top Secret files and taunting
>>the General with their contents.  You see, in our terms today, Feynman
>>was just 'too' smart.  He saw through the 'management' efforts of the
>>General at Los Alamos as misbegotten and misdirected.  He realized that
>>the capital of politicians and soldiers, money and power, were not
>>shared by his scientific brethren at Los Alamos who honored art,
>>music, and elegant solution to difficult problems as their most sought
>>after currency.
>>
>>So, when Feynman plopped a piece of rubber O-ring into a glass of
>>ice water on national television, verifying his theory that the hardening
>>of the otherwise viscoelastic properties of the rubber at low temperature
>>was reponsible for the lack of separation of the rocket stages:  Hence
>>the Challenger explosion.  Feynman upset many.  Because he had told
>>a great truth that America did not want to know.
>>
>>America is filled with delusion now; and the generals have now had
>>their way, in that all the guys that are 'too smart' like Feynman
>>was then, are either keeping quiet, (I believe the term is Shvai in
>>Yiddish), have been silenced by intimidation, or have left this earth.
>>
>>I miss Richard Feynman on the tenth anniversary of the Challenger 
>explosion.
>>
>>I think it would be a better world if his spirit could be kept alive today.
>>
>>Bert Gold, Ph.D.
>>San Francisco
>gimme a break.
>
My, that'a an intelligent response!

Nick Landau





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