Challenger Disaster

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Science Channel's first dramatic feature film, THE CHALLENGER DISASTER, premiering Saturday, November 16 from 9-11 PM ET/PT, is the riveting story of Dr. Feynman's role on the Presidential Commission.... More

Science Channel's first dramatic feature film, THE CHALLENGER DISASTER, premiering Saturday, November 16 from 9-11 PM ET/PT, is the riveting story of Dr. Feynman's role on the Presidential Commission. Based upon Feynman's book "What Do You Care What Other People Think?", THE CHALLENGER DISASTER chronicles Feynman's efforts to uncover the cause of the Challenger explosion by deftly navigating the many vested interests represented on the commission, and his ability to quickly learn everything about the vast complexity of the space shuttle. "This film is the biggest swing in our network's history. As our first fictional drama, THE CHALLENGER DISASTER furthers our commitment to bring audiences programming that provokes thought," said Debbie Myers, general manager and executive vice president of Science Channel. "We're telling the side of the Challenger story that isn't well-known while showing that science is a fascinating, rich, alive world. Our hope is that the audience walks away appreciating the genius of Dr. Feynman and the impact of his accomplishments." Feynman was chosen by William Robert Graham, one of his former students and NASA's acting administrator, to lend his skills to the commission. Reluctant to participate, Feynman followed his scientific instincts during the investigation, unafraid of raising questions in the face of pressure from several commission members. With unwavering persistence he employed exceptional integrity and scientific logic to determine that two of the shuttle's O-rings failed during launch. In a famous televised hearing Feynman demonstrated that the O-ring was not as pliable as previously thought by submerging a piece of the O-ring in a glass of ice water. At the investigation's conclusion Feynman produced an essential report, "Appendix F - Personal Observations on the Reliability of the Shuttle", that was presented to President Reagan independent of the commission's report.

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