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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Space Shuttle Challenger insider....

To discuss attempt to avert tragedy

WEST HAVEN - The University of New Haven Tagliatela College of Engineering will act as host for a public lecture, “Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster” with Allan J. McDonald, retired engineer and executive of the aerospace industry, the university said in a statement.

The talks will be held from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. and 6 to 7:15 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Schumann Auditorium in the Tagliatela College of Engineering, Room B120, on the UNH campus.

McDonald’s lecture is part of the UNH Fall 2011 Alvine Engineering Professional Effectiveness and Enrichment Program and he will highlight his role in the attempt to stop the space shuttle Challenger from being launched by NASA in 1986, and the fiery destruction that took place on live television shortly after, the statement said.

"McDonald will highlight points made in his book, "Truth, Lies, and O-Rings," in which he contends that he fought to draw attention to the real reasons behind the disaster, and was the only one targeted for retribution by both NASA and his employer, Morton-Thiokol, Inc., now ATK Launch Systems Group, makers of the shuttle's solid rocket boosters," the statement said.
The lecture "will look at the Challenger tragedy and its aftermath from the perspective of an insider who recognized the potential disaster and tried to prevent it," the statement said.
The talk is free and open to the public.

According to the UNH statement, McDonald, shown, earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Montana State University in 1959 and a master's degree in engineering administration from the University of Utah in 1967. He retired from ATK Launch Systems Group after a 42-year career with the company, the statement said. He was the director of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor Project at the time of the Challenger accident, and led the redesign of the solid rocket motors as vice president of engineering for space operations. He has several patents related to rocket propulsion, has published over 80 technical papers presented at national and international conferences, and received numerous professional awards, the statement said.
For more information, contact Professor of Mechanical Engineering Ismail I. Orabi, chairman of the UNH Department of Industrial Systems and Multidisciplinary Engineering, at 203-932-7144 or

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