You Cannot Fool Nature | The Grumpy Old Techie
Today 28 January 2016 is the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. This event shocked the world and shook NASA out of its complacency. A commission was formed to investigate. Surprisingly there was only one scientist on the commission, Richard Feynman. He filed a minority report which was nearly suppressed and also performed his famous experiment to show the failure of the O-rings used in the shuttle engines. Richard Feynman's full report is available at It starts with the following paragraph: It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. The higher figures come from the working engineers, and the very low figures from management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of agreement? Since 1 part in 100,000 would imply that one could put a Shuttle up each day for 300 years