Normalization of deviance, the process of becoming inured to risky actions, is a useful concept that was developed to explain how the Challenger disaster happened.

Lessons From the Challenger Tragedy

Producer: Bret Sigler
Editor: Bret Sigler

Those who saw it never forgot: the Space Shuttle Challenger launched on January 28, 1986 only to break apart 73 seconds later, killing seven astronauts, including the first “teacher in space” – Christa McAuliffe.

We revisit the tragic event  – and the 2003 Columbia disaster – through interviews with key participants, and explores the forces that lead groups within large organizations to make dreadfully wrong decisions.

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Challenger, Columbia and the Nature of Calamity by Clyde Haberman

Transcript Lesson Plan Archived Versions Archive Credits

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